I’ve always enjoyed my birthday. In fact not only did I enjoy my natal day but my mother’s, my brother’s as well. On my birthday my grandmother would send a gift for me (I could not be still running my hands over the box freshly delivered by our postal carrier), and a small token for my mother and brother. This gesture would rotate on each of our special days so we celebrated our births year around. When I was a child my mother made birthdays seem like the most exciting time of year, in close competition with Christmas, with the privilege of taking a well chosen friend with us to the circus or Ice Capades.
There is a picture of me on my first birthday adorned in a crinoline itching dress sitting in front of my cake. My father taught baking at a vocational school, so my cake was an actual doll who wore an antebellum dress (yes, I’m from Mississippi) covered with butter cream icing that twisted and turned into ruffles and streaming ribbons. Subsequent hallmark birthdays were filled with beloved friends, close family and always and unexpected surprise. The most memorable surprise was when on my 25th celebration, Andraé Crouch, and incredible composer and singer of soul stirring melodies that expressed God’s love for us, sang in our living room. We were all blessed by his gift of song.
Probably my favorite birthday was my 50th. I lived and worked at The General Theological Seminary in New York City. It was a beautiful oasis in the neighborhood of Chelsea and the refectory (dining hall) was reminiscent of the wizardry world of Hogwarts. The occasion was a black tie dance, filled with epicurean delights and inviting spirits. We enjoyed ourselves.
One of the consistent treats over the past few years has been having high tea at a hotel with a few friends. Last year was my first in Chicago and it was spectacular. So you can see birthdays have always been special to me.
This year my birthday has practically slipped by me! I’ve been so busy writing and opening myself to all life has to offer, I forgot my special day was eminent. I’ve been absorbing and celebrating life for the past nine months – and it’s been enough. I did take a berry short cake layered and crowned with whipped cream to my women’s group yesterday and we enjoyed every morsel – and it was enough.
So I’ve started thinking about when in life do we have enough? Typically we work hard for the next thing, whether it is a home, car or even a status position necessary to support our “want-to-be” lifestyle. We work hard sometimes to the point of exhaustion and ill health so we can provide more for ourselves and love ones, only to find we are not able to enjoy the sought after “more”. When does the desire for more end? When is enough – enough? Everyone has to answer this question for themselves. But for today – I have enough.