I spent a magical birthday yesterday

“Plant the seeds of Love in your hearts. Let them grow into trees of Service and shower the sweet fruit of Ananda. Share the Ananda with all. That is the proper way to celebrate the Birthday.” Sri Sathya Sai Baba.  This beautiful birthday wish came from Facebook friend Kimberly Anne Francois yesterday.  She must have seen by my altar photos that I’m a devotee.  I woke up not sure what I was going to spend Sunday doing.  I could go to church and see pals and hear good music or I could work on final layout of the May Horizons or I could — my fave — just let the day unfold moment by moment and do whatever I felt like during the unfolding.

After morning meditation, I signed on to Facebook and saw all the birthday wishes coming in.  I did a quick visit to everyone’s page and then “liked” their post so they would know I saw it.  I enjoy Facebook and all the friends I interact with on there.  For me, it’s like walking into neighborhood cafe and never knowing who I’ll see there, but always it’s a little gang of friends that I can have fun with for a few minutes.  (Minutes?  Who am I kidding?)

By this time, it was almost dawn, so I jumped into my walking shoes, sweats and hoodie and set out on a walk around the neighborhood.  I love that time of morning, just as the dark begins to brighten and the birds begin to sing.  I could hear the crickets as I passed each patch of woods.  I love living where I can hear the sounds of Nature in the course of my day, especially first thing in the morning.  It keeps me grounded and is a constant reminder of what’s real.  As I rounded the bend toward my house, I saw 3 little brown bunnies lined up just outside the treeline parallel to the road.  Everyone loves a birthday bunny for good luck, and I got three.

As I walked up my driveway, I thought, “this is what my neighbors see as they drive past my house.”  I promptly went inside and got a broom and began sweeping the front walk of weeks worth of fallen oak leaves and pine needles.  I swept it as mulch into the garden beds and re-arranged some potted plants I have out front.  In the freeze of February 2010, I lost a 20 year old ficus privacy hedge and replaced it with a handmade fence of bamboo until it grows back.  I set a line of stumps, chairs and two outdoor tables full of spider plants alongside the driveway.  I’m sure my neighbors will appreciate the sweeping.

Afterward, I watered the loquat trees out front and thought about how I liked to break a sweat first thing in the morning, before getting into my day.   It lets me know my body is ready to go.  I jumped in the shower and washed my hair, then blew it dry, since it was 9:00am and I wasn’t sure if I was going out or not.  I always dig seeing my friends and hearing good music, but was feeling like I wanted to stay on my own, in the silence.

It was nice weather, about 70 degrees, maybe 70% humidity and all my windows were open.  I turned on the ceiling fans, then I vacuumed the house and began moving furniture around.   I move my furniture around on a regular basis.  I like changing things around to keep me on my toes.

I swept the back porch and straightened up the few yard tools I keep back there.  The metal roof of the back porch is the only part of my home that gets direct sun and it was quickly warming up outside.  Most of my neighbors have their roofs in the direct sunlight, so their air conditioners have been on for a month.  I’m under a deep shade oak canopy so I can keep my windows open much longer, cooled by the shade.

I began moving furniture out of the back office and into the shed, then noticed some florescent bulbs were out in the hanging shop lights.  The lights were installed when I bought the shed in 1997 so it was time to replace them.  I called my friend Denise to take a ride with me to Home Depot where I bought two more hanging lights.  I’ll install them today.  My friend Joy stopped by and we chatted until the sun went down.

Now that’s my idea of a fun birthday.

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