Saturday, 27 July 2013

Birthday Blog

How blessed I am. Today it's my birthday. I've lived 55 years on this beautiful planet and I am so grateful for that. Friends have had babies who have lived only short hours. Others have borne them too soon so that they didn't get the chance to breathe fresh air and play in the sand. One friend passed away when she was in her 30s from lung cancer. Another at the age I am now, from lupus. Death can come at any hour. But a birthday is about celebrating the day life began and the years that have ensued...and of course the years that lay dormant in the future waiting to be opened day by day, minute by minute, like a perpetual gift...what joy!

I don't want to look at achievements on this day, or to think about the future too much. What I would like to do is to appreciate fully how blessed, how lucky I am to have this day. Last evening I shared my home with sixteen beautiful women. There was so much noise! Once a few had arrived the swell of chatter rose and grew until it filled every space; it was such a joyful sound. There were old friends who rejoiced in being together over a glass of wine. There were new friendships made - isn't that a beautiful thing when you get a bunch of friends together - some of them get to start new friendships. I love that! 

We had a 'Secret Santa' giving time. I don't need a lot of stuff, so I thought why not have a Christmas in July theme and have a gift swap. Well, it was such fun. Many of the ladies hadn't done that before and there was much hilarity as we negotiated rules for how the game should be played. We had a limit of $10 value for gifts and some people had been so creative. We put all the names in a hat and drew them out one by one and the fun began. The best part is the 'stealing'. When your name is pulled out you can 'steal' a gift that has already been opened or go and choose a new one from the wrapped ones. I am pleased to say that I have some very polite friends who were simply not able to take a gift from someone else, and a few that just wanted the mug or the chocolate enough to go for it! There was playful pouting and sulking and really, it was bucket loads of fun and  it just might have to be done again sometime. I have a feeling that some of those lovely manners might be missing next time, now that they've all got the hang of it!

Friendships are the stuff of life. When I was young, before I really knew myself, before I grew up, before I 'became myself', I didn't think I had many friends. I usually had one friend and sometimes two. I hadn't figured it all out then. Now I have. All you have to do is love people. Everyone. Some of them will love you back. If you love enough people you'll always have friends. It's not about being a certain way or looking right or wearing the right stuff. It's about making space in your home and your heart for people. It's about saying 'come'. It's about saying 'stay a while'. It's about saying 'have a cuppa with me'. It's not about saying 'do you like me?' It's about saying 'I like you.' My friends are many and varied and I love each of them for their own special selves. Every one of them adds something precious to my life.

As I get older I get more and more comfortable with spending time alone. It's precious to be happy with my own thoughts. To sit and read or potter in the garden (which doesn't happen as much as it probably should...the garden part). It's also precious to be hugged, embraced and loved by my friends. Today is my birthday and it's a very good day. Thank you.  Love to you all xox


  1. My first time and too unsure of the truth of my reactions to your transformational blog to out myself. What strikes me about what you write is how simple and normal your insights are and yet the committment you give to drawing them out, giving them the life, is so special that I am overcome by the powerful emotions they evoke.This insight into the value of friendship was beautifully said Kerry that I found tears brimming and falling, part acid, part sweet, a mingling of memory both regretful and sharp with truth, as friends made, lost and rediscovered jostled and waved in the moment. I have always been compelled by those lines 'not waving but drowning'. Was it Sylvia Plath? Anyway that was the great gulf between me and friends; they always thought I was waving when actually for most of my life I have been drowning. So I swam right out of reach for a long time where it was just me and my ever loving life guard who sticks with his mate, his friend and will never desert me not even in the stormiest of seas. Now I tread water, a little swan like, seemingly calm but full out treadling out of sight, hoping flat out I can make it shore from where after long lonely years I see my friends swimming towards me and it feels good to be waving back.

    1. Thank you for sharing your truth. It may well have been Sylvia Plath, but thank you for sharing that thought 'not waving but drowning'. I believe there are many out there that will identify with that reality. Come and have a cuppa anytime. Hugs and love xox

  2. I thought I was reading myself when reading Anonymous and then realized it wasn't me that wrote it! Yes, I identify fully. I was blessed a few years ago to see a friend come 'swimming towards me' after being torn apart 35 years ago. What a joy to fall into each others arms and revel in knowing that after all that time we knew each other so well. I'll never forget that moment. Even though distance keeps us apart physically we use facebook to talk every day since. True friendship is beyond value, it is immeasurable, it is life saving.
    So thankyou Anonymous and thankyou Kerry.
    I read your blog every day Kerry

    1. Thank you Karin. That's beautiful that you read every day. Thank you so much. It's also beautiful that you and others can share compassion for each other, and understanding. Sometimes we feel so alone, but really we are not.