today is my forty-seventh birthday. from here, this number doesn't look too young or too old, no landmark or watershed, nothing spectacular. but i have been looking forward to this day for months now. there is something about forty-seven that has been calling to me, urging me on, as if it knows it has a place for me and i am going to love it. so i enter new year with much anticipation.
me on my first birthday
i took the day off and am spending it at home, alone. this is the way i prefer my birthday. no fanfare or big celebrations for me. i want to be able to navigate my way through the day as i feel it - painting, resting, reading, thinking. and i am fortunate that those in my life honor my wishes and give me this day to do as i please.
my most difficult birthday was when i turned thirty-nine. i was in rome, italy taking a morning shower (in a tiny, can't even raise your arms up, little stall) when i realized that the person who had shared this day with me originally was no longer here - my mom had died about six weeks before. she used to tell me the story of the day i was born each year on my birthday and it was something i looked forward to. i had myself a good cry in that hotel room across the sea the first time she was no longer able to do that.
but today i am not sad and, although i am by myself right now, i am surrounded by love. i have already received many cards and gifts in the mail, texts and photos, and a few phone calls wishing me a happy birthday. i feel extremely blessed and content. today is a positive omen of a wonderful year which i am standing on the brink of right now.