Holidays are wonderful, they offer us time to gather with family and friends, to share in good food and good wine, to relax, and simply enjoy the company of others. To me there is no difference between a holiday and a birthday, both celebrate something significant and offer us opportunities to outwardly recognize it! I love my birthday, in fact I love all birthdays!
What is special about birthdays is that they offer us the chance to celebrate the individual as a unique and wonderful creation of God. It gives us an excuse to come together as a community, and to enjoy all those things we tend to wait for the holidays to enjoy.
Last Friday, February 4th, I turned 28. This is no big birthday like my sweet sixteen, or 21, or even 25 which seemed worth commemorating in some outward and communal way. I would argue, however, that 28 is just as worthy of a celebration as 16, 21, and even 25. Every year should be celebrated! A good friend in college once reflected upon my overly enthusiastic love of my birthday saying, "Sara, you are going to be the only old lady in the nursing home running around on her birthday proclaiming, 'I'm 90, I'm 90!'" This is true!
Every year we grow older is another year that God has gifted us, a year we have grown, a year we have offered a little something more to the world, and a year for which I believe is worthy of celebration! In fact, I believe this so deeply that I celebrate my birthday as an Octave! Seriously! I think my community thought I was kidding too, they are learning otherwise! Just wait until THEIR birthdays!!! They too will be Octave celebrations!
In all seriousness, I do truly believe people should celebrate their life and the life of those who are special to them! Therefore, birthdays are not just a time to say "celebrate me" but they are a time to say "celebrate life--mine, yours, and ours!" Birthdays are a time to thank those people who have made you who you are--your parents for raising you, your siblings for putting up with you, your friends for standing by you . . .
I celebrated my own gift of being birthed into this crazy world with a gathering of sisters Friday night all of whom have played important roles in my life and my discernment. It was wonderful to celebrate life with women who I admire and love, and feel loved by.
Yes, it's been a good birthday! In fact I've discovered two sisters who, although I do not yet know in person, I believe are among my kindred spirits, Sisters Marietta and Eleanor who surprised me with a beautiful birthday call--which included a marvelous rendition of Happy Birthday! They had read my comments in Community News about loving birthdays and made it a point to call me to assure me that I was heard. How beautiful!
I feel so blessed to be on this journey with so many wonderful women, from those who shared my day with me, those who went out of their way to celebrate the night before, and those who from a distance called to simply say Happy day! I look forward to many amazing years to come! 27 was pretty fantastic, 28 is looking even better!