This week, Tuesday to be exact, is my birthday. I am turning 68 years old. Every time I look in the mirror, I am amazed to see the face looking back at me. Some days I think I see an old woman. Other days I see a woman who looks "pretty good for her age". Most days, I see my mother, and I feel blessed. I still can't believe that 68 years has flown by like a passing cloud.
People keep asking me what I want for my birthday this year. I tell them to feed me. Being a vegan, I spend a great deal of time cooking for myself since most places near where I live still do not have many vegan alternatives on their menu, if they have any at all, that is. Since I make most of my own food, it is a treat when someone cooks for me. They don't think it's such a big deal, but I do. Most of the time, it's the small things that I find are the greatest gifts. Gifts that come from the heart, gifts that say the giver really knows who I am and what makes me smile. Sure, I wouldn't turn down something big like a new car, new furniture, or a shopping spree, but the gifts that are priceless to me are the ones that are made of experiences, not things.
The thing is, Creator already gave me everything I could ask for. So on Tuesday morning, I'll wake up to the song of the female cardinal singing in the little tree outside my window as she searches for her mate. I'll watch the morning mist burn off and the sun bathe the distant hills in light. I'll be entertained by the crazy antics of the blue jay family as they zip back and forth around my window. I'll watch big, fat, fluffy clouds slowly float across a pearly blue sky and wonder what it would be like to ride on one. I'll feel the warm, sultry breeze kiss my cheeks through the open window and breathe in the smell of dew on morning grass. I'll hear a neighbor start up his lawn mower, the Main St. bus stop right out front to pick someone up, and the freight train a few blocks away blow it's whistle as it passes through town. These are the sacred gifts of a life well lived, a life filled with peace, joy and contentment.
However, just in case you were asking, I'd love a copper colored PT Cruiser, a comfy futon and a gift card to L.L. Bean. Just saying.
And so it is.