Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words. – Plautus
The storm clouds are thick and black, angrily gathering their thoughts along the way and a wave of contentment washes over me as the rain splashes across the window pane.
It has been so long since I have felt this quiet joy.
I’ve watched the sweet words of friends near and distant, voices from the past and those from the present mingle on the screen in a chorus of heartfelt affection. I’ve read emails and text messages, opened cards and celebrated my age with good-natured humor, and been gifted with the love of my children and the promise of good behavior.
There is nothing remarkable about today. It is my birthday, yes. But there is simply nothing remarkable about it. There were no grand or unexpected gestures, a quiet day on my own and I am, for the seventh year running, ending the day alone with my thoughts.
And, yet, I am soaking in the deep warmth of contentment that I had forgotten.
There is so much about life that is beautiful, and equal amounts that are ugly and cruel. I’ve felt both and for so long my birthday has been the loneliest and saddest day of my year. Of all the days, despite the friends and family that tried so valiantly, it was the one that left me the loneliest and emptiest. It wasn’t age that left me bitter about my birthday, but simply the circumstance of it.
But something was different today, as though the heavens had opened up and granted me a beautiful wish and draped the day in the rainstorms I thrill to. Listening to the rain pelt against the glass, I watched the sweet words and thought on all of the lives I’ve touched, and all of the lives that have touched mine and my heart swelled with the simple thought that in all my loneliness I have never been alone.
Against the sound of the rain pouring down in the dark, I close the screen and end the day as I have all the others.
With sweet words and wine.