At the end of the birthday week

It was a busy week last week on both work and social fronts—hence, a short post. My birthday was this past Tuesday. The celebrations stretched over several days. The festivities began with brunch out with a few friends on Sunday. Then on the day itself, I had dinner at a friend’s house, out on her deck looking out at the shade garden. The centerpiece of the meal was a beautiful big salad, perfect for a hot night. And then on to a concert by the Lorelei Ensemble. And today it’s off to another event (the Rock Voices Endless Summer concert) with a friend. So, a heartfelt thank you to all my friends for their birthday tending.

Birthdays. Someone at work asked if I had big plans for my birthday. This was before the various meals and concerts had gelled into plans. I shrugged and said this wasn’t a big deal birthday, not one of the landmark 0 or 5 birthdays. But when I think about it that’s such a strange concept, marking the decades or half decades with bigger celebrations. Every birthday–every day, really–is a cause for celebration. So, at the end of this “not a big deal” birthday week, I pause and rest for a moment in gratitude. This poem by Stanley Kunitz reflects my thoughts.

The Round
By Stanley KunitzIMG_0045

Light splashed this morning
on the shell-pink anemones
swaying on their tall stems;
down blue-spiked veronica
light flowed in rivulets
over the humps of the honeybees;
this morning I saw light kiss
the silk of the roses
in their second flowering,
my late bloomers
flushed with their brandy.
A curious gladness shook me.

So I have shut the doors of my house,
so I have trudged downstairs to my cell,
so I am sitting in semi-dark
hunched over my desk
with nothing for a view
to tempt me
but a bloated compost heap,
steamy old stinkpile,
under my window;
and I pick my noteboook up
and I start to read aloud
the still-wet words I scribbled
on the blotted page:
“Light splashed…”

I can scarcely wait till tomorrow
when a new life begins for me,
as it does each day,
as it does each day.

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