A Day without Context has No Meaning

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.” ~ Edith Wharton

Yesterday was my birthday.  Last night a girlfriend called to see how my day had gone.

“Did you spoil yourself?” she asked. “Did you get massages, and go somewhere fabulous to eat, and get heaps of presents and stuff yourself full of cake?”

“No, not this year,” I replied.

She began to express disappointment for me, but I stopped her. For me, it was a beautiful day. It just didn’t look the way my friend thought it should.

Things started well. I woke from a deep sleep at 4am, slipped out to meditate for my students, clients, friends and family, then I blogged and jumped back into bed for cuddles with my husband and my dogs. I was blessed with lots of kisses, two birthday cards, a beautiful steampunk ladybird necklace, and a windmill (well, the windmill is on someone else’s farm right now, but soon it will be pumping the water from our spring, making my little piece of heaven even more ecologically sustainable ♥.)

My wonderful steampunk ladybug necklace by Chris Huebert

We headed down to Byron Bay for an early morning walk on the beach, followed by breakfast at a favourite cafe. There I was showered with birthday hugs from the staff, who kindly gave me my meal for free, and we bumped into friends who gave me more hugs and who stayed for chai and chats. I had that lovely heart-swelling feeling of being home, in a well-loved space.

And then my day altered course. On the trip home from breakfast I got a phone call from my Dad to wish me happy birthday and tell me that my Nana was worse.  I packed a bag, jumped in my old farm ute and headed up to the hospital, an hour away, to spend the day with her.

Dad came too, and we spent precious hours talking, sharing and healing.  Birthday Lunch was a toasted sandwich and an ordinary coffee in the hospital cafe.  But I got to spend it with my Dad, who I don’t see nearly often enough. That was a precious gift in itself.  We also talked about the unpublished manuscript of ours that he’s reading, and got lost for a while in the world of stories, history and the Pacific we’ve both travelled and loved.

My Dad, helping Nana to smile for the camera ♥

It was hard to see my little Nana frailer, weaker and less with us.  But I brushed her hair, and rubbed cream into her hands and face, and hugged her often and talked with her, and for her. I got to share one last birthday with my other September Girl. And I never cried once.

I saved that for the car.

By the time I got up to Brisbane late yesterday I was wrecked. I fielded more phone calls from loved ones who are all deep in their own issues and dramas right now, and I got to tell them that I loved them, and to help where I could. They sent me love and well wishes too, and I felt that deep connection that ties us all together through time and space, ups and downs, and everything in between.

Ben and the dogs came to spend the night in the city with me and dinner was take-away Chinese from the dodgy restaurant down the road, after which I read through an avalanche of birthday wishes and love on my facebook page, and in my email in-box.

There was no cake, no candles, no fancy meals, no extravagant gifts or lush pampering.

But there was so much love, and life, and connection.

I went to sleep last night feeling truly blessed.

And this morning I shall go somewhere nice and eat cake for breakfast! I might even have some for lunch too.  ♥ ♥ ♥

A cake like this one would be just the ticket…
I ate this one at Queenies Tea House, Nundah, Brisbane, some months ago.

 

22 thoughts on “A Day without Context has No Meaning

  1. Your Grandmother always ate cake for breakfast on her birthday.The saying goes..”Life is too short,eat dessert first”.The older you get, the greater excuse,keep up family tradition!

  2. What greater content is there than love? and what greater context within which to share that love than your birthday surrounded with those whom offer unconditional love and acceptance in our lives, our families, a truly blessed Birthday Nicole, thank you for sharing it with us. <3

  3. You’re a grown up, you get to write your own birthday exactly how you want it. Sounds like you enjoyed the glow of your day unfolding perfectly! Much love sx

  4. Nice perspective Nicole. I almost had a cheese cake yesterday from Fundies at Paddington that looked like that… I went for the chocolate macadamia nuts instead though LOL. Enjoy your day

  5. Blessings of LOVE to your Marga, Dad, you and your family during this time…<3
    Enjoy each tasty mouthful of your cake/s today and thanks for the diversion to Wikipedia about 'Steampunk'..you truly are my teacher and I feel very blessed indeed….<3

  6. Happy Belated Birthday Beautiful
    What a beautiful way to spend your special day, thank you for sharing it with us.
    You and your Nan are often in my thoughts.
    Sending much love to you
    Annette
    Xoxox

  7. Dear Nicole, This is my second reply but it is to ask if you have considered putting the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge into a book. My friend Julie Wallaston has asked and I think many people would like it who did not do it via your email (or website). I found it great via email but some people could not do it all at that particular time. Would you please be kind enough to let me know if you get this message. I do not use Facebook but can and do look up your website. Love and blessings to you and your team. Joan Broad, 26 Harbour View Tce, Victor Harbor. SA 5211 Phone 08 8552 7730 joanbroad@adam.com.au

    • Hi Joan, I listened the first time, and it will soon be done!
      Sorry I’m not responding very promptly right now, but I have my hands well and truly full.
      I will get back to you at length when I come up for air.
      Much love to you
      Nicole
      xx

  8. Glad you had such a wonderful time yesterday Nicole catching up with so many folk but best of all spending time with your Nana and Dad. Have a fabulous year.

  9. Happy Birthday, Nicole! I am so glad that you had a wonderful day and got to spend time with your family. That is priceless, and better than any giant heap of presents any day.

    Am sending you big hugs and much love,
    Daisy

  10. Happy belated birthday Nicole, I’m very glad you got to spend some of it with your dad and the other September girl. She looks so beautiful and full of grace in that photo.

    There is a diet where you eat chocolate cake for breakfast, apparently to curb cravings for the rest of the day. I tried it but all that happened was I ate more cake and more chocolate than usual. It was great! 🙂

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