It went well...

Finally speaking after 22 years about why my birthday is so difficult and the grief it holds enabled me to acknowledge, accept and perhaps release it. It's been a significant birthday for me. On the inside, where I shape my perceptions. I'm sure it had something to do with you all. After posting with an unusual openess, a warmth began radiating and it spread and spread even to illumining the evening with its kindness and gentle happiness.

Two dear friends took me for dinner at a superb Vietnamese restaurant, Ginger, on Yonge Street. They are both 'chanting buddies' from yoga. Jean and I did teacher training in 1995, and Moira was one of the first people to attend my classes and when I taught in my home she came for years. She belongs to a choir and has a wonderful voice and carried our chants. These two women came regularly to my house for about 5 years once a week for a two and a half hour "Long Chant," the one that has a seed syllable, or bij mantra, for each chakra, and we used to go, round after round, hour after hour, cleansing our memories, minds, hearts, emotions of whatever we were carrying. Afterward we ate chocolate poppyseed cake, a chai or yogi tea that had simmered throughout the chant, and laughed and laughed. I eventually moseyed into a moving meditation dance practice, Sweat Your Prayers, and left the rigorous yoga practice (except for my daily private meditation) but they kept on chanting. Jean, who is 62 and glows, does that woman glow, now hosts a Prayers for the Earth in her home once a month, and they do Long Chant, and an Adi Shakti, or Divine Mother chant, each once a month at the Ashram on Palmerston. I am going to try to make it to the Adi Shakti chant this Friday. They are such beautiful friends, how can I not go? The flowers, their bright ebullience, are a gift from Moira. The evening was a reunion and I don't think I've laughed so hard for over so many hours in a long time!

We hadn't seen each other since before I went to Vancouver, almost three years. I'm glad I'm back because having friends like these is worth everything.

On the way home my cell phone rang. It was my son wishing me a happy birthday, and he had a surprise too. He'd be coming to Toronto to see me, to stay for one night. I was fairly dancing down the streetlight lit streets I can tell you!

He arrived the next day, yesterday, we had a wonderful visit, and he took us to a movie I wanted to see, Water, and then to Future Bakery for cake and wine for me, and milk for him and his sister; he said with a glint, he'll be able to have a beer instead in a few weeks when he turns 19.

The warmth of friends and family, their generosity, what could make me feel more special?

It's been simple, but beautiful.

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