First of all, thank you to everyone who sent cards, e-mails, facebook messages, thoughts and love to me today, and people who called or tried to call (my cell phone was in a bad mood today); I had a wonderful day.
This year, for the first time, I understood people who don't like to make a big deal out of their birthday. Usually, I like to host a big dinner party or get a group of people together to do something, but this year, I didn't want to do anything. I wanted to avoid the whole thing all together; I didn't want to plan anything and I didn't want anyone to worry about it.
I think I was scared of what a birthday would mean so far away from family and old friends, but I was blown away by the love I felt from my friends here and the amazing community I've become a part of.
Though I didn't want to plan anything, I was really lucky because there were already some fun things planned at Wild Rose. I got to do fun things, see my friends, and not have the focus be on me, just on the getting together. It was wonderful and I had a really special day.
My friends Jo and Gaura were teaching a partner yoga workshop and they and Rose decided to give me the class as a birthday gift, and it was beautiful. I worked with a guy I had never met before (we were the only people who hadn't signed up with someone), and it really stretched my notions of trust and communication and letting go.
There were 16 of us and we did some work as a group and then in pairs, working together in postures and using each other to stretch and open and be supported.
After that there was a Kirtan/World Music Jam where a group of about 25 of us sang and chanted and drummed together and there was a great energy that turned the whole thing into a dance party.
I received a few small, really thoughtful gifts that made me realize how lucky I am to know the people here that I do. A couple that I am close to (Laurence and Gaston) who are in my sangha (meditation group) gave me three beautiful photos of different stages of a lotus flower with gathas (meditation poems) written on the backs.
Then a few of my closest friends took me out for amazing dessert crepes (I had caramelized apples, vanilla ice cream, cinnamon and dark chocolate on mine). At the creperie, they did "watering the flowers" for me which is a practice of telling a person what you value about them, so everyone said really nice, thoughtful things to me and Laurence wrote them all down in a birthday card for me. So my love list for today is really just one thing: I love good friends, be they close or far away.