Today is a special day. It is my birthday. It is not my 111th birthday, but that milestone does not now seem as impossibly far off as it once did. And I have to admit that Bilbo Baggins does look somewhat like a close relative.
Everything seems to be coming together to properly mark the occasion.
In honour of the day, the sun is shining brightly…on the ice on my driveway and the icy ruts on our unploughed side street. Even though the forecasters have promised us a mild winter here on Canada’s Wet Coast, last night we got our first snow of the year—three inches of the slushy stuff, which, in typical British Columbia fashion, has now turned to ice.
Later in the day, all the kids at my grandchildren’s elementary school are putting on a concert in honour of my birthday. Well, in honour of Someone’s birthday, anyway.
I asked my children, “Have you noticed that the days get darker and darker until my birthday and then the world starts getting brighter and brighter?”
“No,” they said. “We hadn’t noticed that.” Then they added: “Looked at another way, it could be said that your birthday is the darkest day of the year.”
I am starting to wonder why I had children.
I am also starting to suspect that being born near the winter solstice in the shadow of Christmas is not as special as my mother once told me it was.
My sympathies, condolences, and best wishes to all those whose special day is overshadowed by dark days, inclement weather, the rush of life, and more important events. And Merry Christmas!—which, after all, is good news of great joy to all people.