Until this weekend I’d never fully ‘got’ birthdays or understood what they really represented (other than a good excuse for a party). That all changed at 3am this Saturday morning when I was awoken by my daughter screaming. For the next hour we tended to her every need and I finally wound up holding her as she drifted off to sleep at 4.30am – the exact time she was born a year ago. As I held her I thought back to the events of her Birth-day. I recalled a day that was both hyper-real and dreamlike. I remember being stunned by witnessing the physicality and emotion of the birth itself, and also being in awe of how precious our baby was, along everything else I witnessed on planet Earth that day. The gorgeous sunset over the Langdale Valley and the South Lakes that night is etched into my mind in particular, indeed the photo I took heads up my blog. In terms of Mindfulness I was totally in the present moment; that very moment was all encompassing. The past was exactly that, and the future for our family and little Ruby was as of yet unknown.
Ruby’s first Birthday has served as a reminder to me that time cannot be fully grasped, held or controlled. Ruby has morphed from vulnerable bundle into a crawling ball of inquisitive energy and with her our family has changed too. Birthdays are also times for making a wish for the future. It’s great to make wishes and have aspirations and, of course, we have choices in life as to what direction we want to take, but part of the beauty of life comes from not quite knowing where it is all heading and, in our case, what Ruby has up her sleeve for us in the years to come.
Whilst we are on the subject of Birthdays and wishes, Haruki Murakami’s short story Birthday Girl is a lovely and slightly mysterious read…..enjoy.