It was my birthday recently. My second lockdown birthday. The idea was a bit grim, not what I expected — not again! Ordinarily I’m a big fan of birthdays — I feel as though we should celebrate our own birth — but I had a hard time getting into the mood on this one. When it came to it, I had a lot of loving support through the day so pretty soon I was smiling and goofing around happily 🙂
I had an early phone call from my parents who were in great voice as they sang to me and then a video call with friends in Australia who also serenaded me and waved sparklers in true Aussie fashion! After lunch Hubby and I walked through the local woodland delighting in the first bluebells coming up, the newly emerging leaves on the trees, and a beautiful blue sky.
We sat for a long time in the sunshine on the top of a hill, enjoying a flask of coffee, a lovely view over the surrounding countryside, and just chatting happily. I feel so fortunate that after more than a year of lockdown in a small apartment Hubby and I still haven’t run out of things to talk about or the capacity to listen to one another.
Back home I did a video call with my Mum and Dad. I opened my presents with them and they got to watch me eating an enormous slice of chocolate cake 🙂 We chatted for an hour or so, reminiscing about past birthdays, enjoying some familiar family jokes (those ones we all love to groan at). I felt myself basking in the familiarity, intimacy and love of my family. There is simply nothing like it.
Although it might sound selfish (well, it was my birthday), I really deliberately soaked it all in, feeling the depth of this love, the unconditional nature of it — love just for me, for my past and my present self, including everything that I’ve done and said, the habits I have (even the really annoying ones) and the mistakes I’ve made, things left undone… The full spectrum of a life, or the first 46 years of it at least 🙂 What a treasure to feel this. And also what a lesson — that if others can accept me just the way I am, how strange if I cannot easily feel the same way myself.