Much to my surprise, the evening news played “Happy Birthday.” After a moment’s surprise that my quiet celebration had national coverage, I realized that Barack Obama shares my birthday.
In accordance with long-standing tradition, I took the day off. I believe my birthday should be a holiday. After many years of more success than error, I am careful what I choose to do with the day. The most memorable birthdays are the least planned, but the most carefully engaged. My birthday is a day when I am likely to get in the car, head for the bottom of the driveway and only then decide which way to turn. Sometimes I get promises for my birthday; I still owe myself a kayaking lesson from last year. And one day I will collect.
Today we started with a good, long swim in the Little River. The dogs splashed, swam and attempted to herd several Golden Retrievers and one prim, immaculate little pit bull girl. It was raining, sure, but after rain every single day in July—ten inches last week—we couldn’t wait any longer for swimming. Last year we went swimming twice a day.
A nice lunch, a glass of wine, a nap, and a trip to the raspberry patch took up most of the afternoon. A few household chores. I may be almost to the end of the laundry backlog. A thought of cutting some grass in the afternoon, but the mower refused, and I took it as a sign. A good book. A short walk down to see Cassie’s best friend. Most of all, a staunch refusal to think about messy details of life and work. Today is not a day for worry but a day to savor all my blessings.
Dinner over, I stepped out to consider the pile of wood that still needs to be thrown into the cellar. The work is soothing, even meditative, but I am careful not to overdo. I threw a few logs down cellar, then stood still for a moment, enjoying the rainbow over Mount Elmore.
Across from my house are two spots rainbows are almost certain to occur after a bit of rain and the sidewise slant of Vermont light. Sometimes the two are connected by one gigantic bow, often double, even triple rows of color. They are stunning, gorgeous, predictable, yet wholly a gift, just perfect for a watchful birthday girl counting her blessings.