(Humming … Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday to meee, hap-py bir…. ) Oh, hi there!! You caught me!!! It’s May and this month is my birthday. Because of this, I’m feeling thoughtful and reflective. It gets me thinking about birthdays for everyone, so to each of you, I wish you all a heartfelt Happy Birthday and wish for you a joyful year full of happy surprises! It sounds cliché but it is true..And it’s the way that we should all aim to live.
Imagine every day filled with happy surprises??!! A birthday is a perfect time to realign yourself with the way of life that could be this way – everyday! It begins with the simple act of your grateful acceptance of a birthday gift (or the purchase of a birthday gift for yourself (yes, you can do that)). This act can be a seed for more things to enjoy for your year to come. It is a ceremonial way to accept all the good, no-strings-attached unexpected surprises that life has to offer.
I remember many years ago, as my grandmothers birthday approached and I looked for something meaningful to give her, I had found the miniature grandfather style clock from an arts and crafts fair. When we were kids, she kept a doll house in the basement as a hobby when she lived in St. Albans many years ago and we used to look through the miniature windows , the miniature furniture and miniature family. The tiny grandfather clock collectable I thought would be a fitting gift and happy reminder of that time. I had carefully wrapped and decorated the small box and was excited for her to open it. She said thank you so much she loved it and put it on the table near her bed. My wrapping was a hit & I knew she’d love the clock. The only problem was that she hadn’t opened the box! She thanked us all for all the nice things and went to bed. Finally I had to ask her when she would open it. She told me, “no my dear, I’m not opening it now. It is so beautiful that I will keep it and enjoy how pretty it is and imagine what is inside. Then after a while I’ll open it and it’ll be like I had two gifts.”
My grandmother was living the beautiful cliché from the card.. Every day she looked at the box, she was excited for the happy surprise. At the point that the box opened, joy abounded again then again with every glance as all the pleasant associations are revisited with only a glance. Caring for this token, dusting, repositioning, and cleaning it, gives us a daily opportunity for activity, purpose and appreciation. It opens us up for the daily appreciation of the free gifts of sunlight, singing, kindness, and the beauty of spring flowers and more.
And as she took to her bedroom more and more in the months following, I believe she continued to take pleasure every day in the memories attached to the objet d’art.
So my dear friends, as your birthday comes around this year, and as you face each day, welcome it and openly accept your gifts. Know that joyful days and unexpected surprises are here and yet to come. Happy Birthday.