Friday, March 1, 2013

Birthday Reflections

a time of reflection
a time to explore identity
a time to contemplate the future

Who am I?
I am not a baby boomer.
I was born while the world was at war.

I was born during a time when there was much uncertainty in the world.  My father, drafted into the army at age 29, left for his initial processing into the service the day I was born.  My father did not see me during the first year of my birth.  My mother cared for me and my brother by herself during this difficult time.  I treasure the photo snapped of the four of us on the occasion of my father's homecoming.  We celebrated Christmas in February that year because that is when he came home. 

 Who am I?
I like to identify with my Welsh ancestry the most.
I was born the day before St. David Day.  St. David was the patron saint of Wales.
Photo taken in Keukenhof, Holland
May 2010

When I think of my birthday, I think of daffodils.  Sometimes they are poking their heads out of the recently frozen earth on my birthday; other years, they are not.  Daffodils, the symbol of rebirth and new beginnings, are nearly always given to me by one or more of my children on my birthday.  (Click for last year's birthday blog post.) Each year I look forward to my first bouquet of these flowers that I have long claimed as my symbol.  I look forward to the reminder that spring is coming, winter is nearly over, and the rebirth of those long dormant flowers and trees will soon be seen.  I love these flowers because remind me to never give up hope.

Who am I?
I am a mom.
The greatest gifts I've ever received were not given to me on my birthday.
My five greatest gifts were and are my children.

The night before my birthday, my husband gave me a gift certificate to have my nails done a fancy spa.  He brought home a beautiful cake which we ate from the daffodil plates I display for Easter.  We celebrated early because I decided I wanted to celebrate my birthday with my daughter Amy.  I got up early, packed my bags, and headed north to her house.  We had lunch.  She made me a wonderful dinner of her new healthy taco salad.  She provided a yummy carrot cake for dessert.  She gave me a bouquet of daffodils buds.  She could not find any bouquets in bloom.   

Who am I?
I am a gardener.
I love to tend to my flowers. 
I learn lessons on life from the garden.

Was this bouquet a reminder of life?  Sometimes, the flower we are has not fully bloomed.  Sometimes, we are buried under six inches of earth that is still frozen.  

The gardener plants bulbs with great faith in the fall.  The gardener does not have the reward of seeing the beauty the bulbs bring until spring.  The bulbs are protected even in this frigid environment during those long, dark, cold, dreary winter days.  Once those days are over, the bulbs cannot help but break through the earth, grow, and bloom.  Even those bouquets that are picked too early, and cooled so they will not bloom before the public sees them, will bloom.  They will bloom because that is who they are.  They are daffodils.  

This morning, when I first got up, I was blessed by a beautiful sight.
Given a little warmth, the daffodil buds were beginning to open up and bloom.
I will remember this bouquet for a long time.
I will remember it as a reminder that after long winters of darkness,
the soul longs to bloom.
Sometimes, a bouquet is gathered too early, but that doesn't mean those buds won't bring beauty.
Thank you Amy, my beloved, for this special birthday gift.
May you always continue to grow and to bloom.
We all need an extra dose of love, warmth, and support in our lives to be fully who we are.
Thank you for being that special someone to me so many times in my life.
So many times, you have had the perfect word for me when I needed it most.
So many times, you have supported me when I needed it most.
So many times your wisdom spoke to me when no one else seemed to have the wisdom I needed.
You truly are my beloved.
Your name, Amy, beloved, fits you perfectly.
Thank you for letting me be that special someone to you.
I will always be here for you.

I love you.