Having just celebrated my “39th” Birthday for the umpteenth time and having had a fabulous weekend doing it, once things quieted down, I started thinking about the meaning of birthdays. Yes, one is celebrated, given gifts, cards, good wishes, sung to, treated like royalty and it is all so lovely!
However, I gave thought to a story that was told to me by a devout Christian Scientist. In Christian Science, birthdays are not celebrated or tracked. (Sounding pretty good to me about now :)). He knew of a woman who was getting older but who did not know her own age until, one day, she received a hundred red roses from her bank. She called to inquire why these gorgeous roses had been sent to her. The representative at the bank told her it was because she had turned 100 years old. A couple of months later, she passed on. Perhaps there is no correlation between the revealing to her of her chronological age and her death shortly thereafter…but it causes one to ponder.
I also thought about how after the final posture in yoga, shavasana (“corpse pose”:), we are invited to roll over on our right side in a fetal position to allow the blood to drain a bit from the heart before we get to seated. It is symbolic, as well, of a rebirth of sorts after the journey we have taken in our bodies, minds and souls during that hour and fifteen minutes. It is a kind of birthday.
I thought of how many “birthdays” we really have in our everyday experiences. A change of job, relationship, location can also be a birthday…being born into a new experience, just as we are born into this earth experience on the day of our physical birth. Even a change of attitude or the revelation of a different way of thinking of things or looking at things can be like a birthday.
When we come to earth we are brand new to everything! But aren’t we brand new when we have a new experience, new thought, new realization? And wouldn’t it be lovely if we could celebrate all these “birthdays” the way we celebrate and are celebrated on our physical birthday? Perhaps it could add a whole new layer of joy and celebration to our everyday existence if we could celebrate the growth and changes that are the normal part of life.
For me, I would definitely have to curb the birthday cake enjoyment that I have on my birthdays:) but beyond that, I would invite all of us to look at our “birthday” moments each day and celebrate!!