Birthdays come round every year. I did not used to make much of these anniversaries. I used to hesitate to mention my birthday to people around me. And then Facebook helped change it all. So many of my friends and family know about my birthday every year now! It feels wonderful to receive birthday wishes from so many people, from so many different parts of the world.

A couple of years ago, a wise friend wished me a few days in advance of my birthday. On asking her why she was wishing me in advance, she said that birthdays are about celebrating our life and it is good to start the celebrations early. Something deep started to move within me since that time. And I have started to be more open to this anniversary. I have actually started to enjoy my birthday.

This year I decided to go away for the weekend with my husband. I chose a cottage next to the river Test. Being in the open countryside, I wanted to watch a sunset. The day before my birthday, I was blessed with a gloriously spectacular sunset. It seemed a perfect way to end the previous year, and make space for the new to come through.  I remembered watching a sunset last year too, on my birthday. I think that I would like to continue with this ritual of watching a sunset near my birthday.

I had to walk up a hill to watch the sunset. I was amazed at being able to breathe with ease on the walk uphill. It seemed as if I could feel and use the muscles around the lower lungs, the diaphragm, to breathe on this uphill walk. Such a blessing to be able to breathe with ease again without having to use an inhaler!

On the way back to the cottage, we saw two swans with six cygnets in the river. In the fading light of dusk, the experience felt quite magical.
Interestingly this hill was called Bury Hill. This was the highest point around the village where we were staying. I kept thinking, we live in Highbury. Coming here seems to be quite significant. And the next day, walking to the farm shop nearby, I discovered a road named Highbury Road!

The whole weekend was full of many such synchronicities. I do not understand them. Perhaps I do not need to understand them. They were simply there to help me feel blessed and for the birthday weekend to feel magical.

Many insights flowed through during the weekend. Too many and too personal to share at this time. Watching a dragonfly land in the river, right under the bridge where I was standing taking some pictures, just before leaving the cottage on Sunday morning added some more magic to the trip. I had not seen a dragonfly with beautiful iridescent metallic blue and green colours before!

Dragon fly

This birthday brought up memories of the birthday last year. I could see many parallels that were not planned. Reflecting on what happened last year around my birthday, and this year again, it feels as if there is an opening that happens around the birthday. If I am able to welcome this anniversary as a celebration of my life, I am better placed to receive the light, strength and wisdom that is available at this time.

Children look forward to their birthdays. As grownups, one may not welcome them or become blase. I feel happy to be able to look forward to them again.