Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Midwinter Revelry

'Tis the season to be chilly.

Fah la la la la.


Hello Arlene


Today marks the beginning of the last half of Winter. According to the Farmer's Almanac you should have half your wood left and half your hay According to my almanac you should have your hat, scarf, overcoat, gloves and boots in good repair, because "It ain't over till it's over" (thank you Yogi Berra).

Winter begins with a lot of joy and celebration. There's Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Years Eve. Then comes a long Siberian stretch until the warm weather with it's tasty breeze blowing in from some magical place. There isn't much to break up the waiting period, to keep one from getting depressed, to cure the frustration of shoveling mounds of snow that's only going to melt away to mud one day, to calm the rage on the rare morning that for no reason the car won't start.

What we get is MLK Day, Groundhog's Day, Valentine's Day, Presidents' Day, St. Patrick's Day and a bouquet of birthdays, including my own. Otherwise it's Lent (yippee).

I like to celebrate, or at least make note of, birthdays. But not ages. "How old are you now?" "None of your business." Don't count the candles on the cake. Only children concern themselves with how old they are. She's not 14, she's 14 and a half. "Don't grow up too fast" I say. She doesn't want to hear that. She wants to be an adult as fast as possible so she can be free, she thinks. Give her a few decades and she'll wish she hadn't grown up so fast. Ah well.

But birthdays are good. Your birthday is a celebration of the fact that you are part of life, you claim, express, reflect and represent life. Your being, your existence contributes to life that is. It's your day to proclaim life to the universe.

Growing up is not amassing years, accumulating memories and moving toward oblivion. Growing up is growing out, growing out of age, growing up to discoveries. It is the expansion of life.

I think people who were born during the Winter have a certain destiny. Perhaps we are more serious about things, however I note that I and my near neighbors on the calendar have a good sense of humor. We can laugh in the darkness. Perhaps when we were babies and we looked out the window to see dark skies and falling snow we instinctively knew something that others had to learn.

Every birthday is a moment of reaffirmation. Growing up and out is an act of renewal. One doesn't have to wait for the Spring, or even a birthday to light another candle on the cake and celebrate the fact that life lives.


Dana Bate

Vagabond Journeys

Never Give Up


1 comment:

Jon said...

Your blog post is a bright spot during this long Siberian second half of winter.
I was born in mid-December, which certainly seems like winter, but it was a week before the official start of winter. Despite not quite being a legitimate winter baby, I can still relate to laughing in darkness.

Birthdays shouldn't be a celebration of age, but rather a celebration of survival.