Astrologer.com sent me a birthday greeting in my yahoo mailbox today and a little note saying that the sun was where it was exactly when I was born 41 years ago. I’m taking that as an auspicious event because the Sun has always been regarded as the symbol of giver and life and, as pointed out in http://www.ata-tarot.com, “brings light and clarity after a period of darkness and confusion, and in this sense the Sun God is often a redeemer as well; a bringer of peace and good times after ordeals.”
Ordeals – I was no stranger to that last year. When I turned 40 I wanted to send all my friends an e-mail asking them to post me birthday cards to mark my four decades of existence. But I didn’t have the desire or the energy to even type out the e-mail. My life was glued together after falling into ruins, but the passion for anything or anyone was missing. It was a Liz Gilbert moment – that moment when she explained to her friend in the movie Eat Pray Love of how she felt when she woke up one fine morning. She felt nothing, zip, zilch, zero! But while Liz wanted to travel to marvel at new things and feel again, I just wanted to crawl back into my shell. I felt like I was in the Fields of Asphodel – not going forward or backward, just waiting for something to happen that will never happen.
A year has passed and the sun has come out amidst, literally, the intermittent torrential rains over Jakarta. At 41, I’m back, tattooed and ready to jump on board the train of life again. This year I sent out that e-mail asking my friends to post me a birthday card from wherever they are to my home in the Philippines so it’ll be a double celebration when I fly home for the holidays. I’m now humming along to Gino Padilla’s “Closer to You” and Sarah Geronimo’s “A Very Love” as well as the version of “Bust Your Window” by Glee. No tune escaped from my lips the year before.
I wished for a birthday cake and I was blessed with three – yippee! The first one arrived at 630am; the second, a creamy fruity cake, came around tea time, with my grade 8 students singing the birthday song at the top of their lungs; and the third turned up at 4ish, a chocolate cake with four candles burning brightly, accompanied by another round of the birthday song by my grade X students. The two cakes have vanished while the first one, a homemade black forest, calmly sits inside my refrigerator.
Every walk down the corridor was met with a birthday greeting while a journey up the staircase was met with a greeting and nice rendition of the birthday song – complete with vocal acrobatics that puts Mariah Carey to shame – from my grade 7 students.
Text messages were streaming in fast and furious, each chime of the text message music to my ears.
One part of the balance in my life has been restored. The other half has yet to be restored but I’m taking baby steps in that direction. It all begins with crushing on someone. Let’s just hope that that universe and I are on the same page on having this crush of mine stumbling into my path. I’m loudly besieging the universe with the wise words of medicine man Ketut Iyer: “Falling in love and facing the risks are part of maintaining the equilibrium in one’s life.”
Universe – don’t fail me now. And that’s my last birthday wish for this year.