Monday, April 5, 2010


I start off this morning, on this second day of my 44th year, marveling at my amazing good luck. The fog has burned off, the skies are blue, and the greenery is standing at attention after last night's thunderstorms. I had the good sense to ask for this day off a while back, hoping to book-end a birthday weekend I assumed would be spent with some quality hours with John, and maybe a little time on my bike. Happily, both were true.

What I didn't count on, though, was a surprise visit from a new pal bearing gifts, or a surprise dinner thrown by neighborhood friends to commemorate my 44th year. I didn't count on Diane's special "unbirthday" concept, where each person goes around the table saying something nice, or clever, or witty, or wacky about the person being celebrated. (I likened this experience to that fantasy we have of attending our own funerals, listening to all those kind words pile up. Let's just say you shouldn't have to wait till you die, and this is a tradition that should be passed on and paid forward).

I also didn't count on feeling honestly sort of moved by everyone in their Easter finery, walking to church or family brunches, then idling away the afternoon in cheerful conversation or backyard foot races. I didn't anticipate last night's lightening show, or the fact that for my birthday dinner, what I wanted most was a bowl of caldo de pollo from our neighborhood taqueria, which John happily and generously obliged me.

There are the ephemeral things in life, like pristine moments listening to friends compare you to the best parts of a stainless-steel nail or a forsythia bush. Or like the posies another set of friends brought me for my birthday. These are the things you try to harness in your memory, even as it dims with age.

And then there are the things that reliably come back, like birthdays themselves, or the myrtle blooming so proudly in our front yard. Or the friends who just might pop over for dinner, because they live within walking distance of the house. Or even taxes or work or the need to repaint the porch steps.

This morning, stepping feet first into middle age, I'm taking the time to appreciate both.


tracy said...

Happy, happy 44th year, darling!

leslie said...

Your birthday sounds perfect, just like you deserve. And tulips & ronunculus! Lovely.

rachel said...

Happy birthday.

Rosemary said...

What a beautiful post, Christy! May your 44th year be as colorful and bright as those gorgeous blooms.