Growing up my birthday never seemed too special. It always rained. My mom never had money due to Easter or taxes, so I never had a big birthday party with friends, and I usually got I.O.U’s for gifts. As a result most birthdays were spent fighting depression.
This year, both American and Greek Easter fell on my birthday making it feel holy to me. There were no family plans for Greek Easter, which was a first. One family member sick, one not speaking to me and two were homeless. The rest were scattered. I had decided it didn’t matter. My daughter and I would celebrate and that would be enough. No matter the circumstances I intended to celebrate my birth and the resurrection of Jesus.
I had to put aside my hurt feelings, my sadness, my anger and all my worries. The day before my birthday, I wrote this:
Tomorrow is my birthday. I’ll be 49 years old. I wouldn’t have been able to convince my younger self that I’d make it this far. I couldn’t imagine even being 40. I am entering Crone phase of life. A place of deep beauty and wisdom. I’ve begun my herbal studies. I’ve learned about and exercised boundaries. I’ve faced fears, and journeyed deep within. I’ve had a hysterectomy and learned that I still have sacred womb space. I have learned to love myself more despite menopausal weight gain, wrinkles, and family members alienating me because I won’t feed into negativity. I am learning everyday and these gifts will richen my life as time passes. I will become that beautiful bohemian gypsy in my mind’s eye. I will love unconditionally, and receive love. I will heal and be healed. I will respect and deepen my relationship with Mother Earth, Great Spirit and the Universe. I will learn to listen to their whispers. Though my family is separated I feel content with my own celebration.
Though I realized that some traditions would be missed and recipes would have to be revised due to the fact that my daughter and I have gone vegan. I had to find a way to celebrate my culture, my spirituality and my birth.
I began the day with a purification bath with dead sea salts. I researched both Greek churches and Unitarian. I ended up at a Unity Church. I was going alone and fought much anxiety. They welcomed me lovingly and without judgement. When I got home I made myself a poster that read, “49&Feelin’Fine! My daughter and I had a blast baking vegan chocolate cake. For dinner, I kept it simple. Vegan Spanakopita and Greek Salad with Marinated Tofu. Surprisingly family members showed up to celebrate with me. We all sat outside and ate. The day was blessed with sunshine, laughter and love.
It’s not everyday that Jesus and I share a holiday. I reconnected with Spirit and myself. It truly was a holy and magical birthday!