Monday, August 11, 2014

A birthday wish




It is my birthday today. 

I could have called this post something akin to "Like a loaded 45" for that is my new age but in truth I am not fond of guns nor the noise they make. Instead, I prefer to think of this lovely quote that my friend David Terry sent me by the author Annie Dillard:

"All my life, I had been a bell, but I never knew this until I was lifted and struck."

Isn't that gorgeous? And while I think that we all have the possibility for several periods of chiming throughout our lives, I am feeling mighty positive about this birthday. For several years now, there is the element of "I am still here!" tucked into the celebration but also, if you are a believer in astrology, Susan Miller has predicted that I have one hum-dinger of a year ahead. 

Yet I already feel so deeply grateful. I am sitting in a room that is all of my own where I can do just as I please. The windows are open and I can see out over the red-tiled rooftops to the hills beyond. The birds are twittering away, hopping from tree to tree. A cup of Lady Gray tea is steaming on my desk and Remi has taken the dogs out for their morning walk. Later on, we will go to see some art as is my birthday tradition and have lunch out. Tonight will be a quiet dinner like we like. Candles will be lit as they always are and not just to be blown out while making a wish.

Yesterday, at my favorite brocante in Eygalieres, one of the owners told me, "You are entering into a wonderful age. Between 45 to 50, you really have the chance in front of you to work out whatever demons you have left. All you have to do is decide to do it." It is interesting advice. And I certainly feel very conscious of the sense of opportunity in front of me, beckoning. I will take that extended olive branch, thank you.

So today is my little party. Another day it will be yours. May our best present be to carry a sense of awareness, of not taking that internal bell and its inherent possibility for granted, for if we listen it just might be ringing throughout the year...

69 comments:

  1. I love that Annie Dillard quote. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you Heather! :-)

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  2. A very Happy Birthday Heather. You plans for today sound like a perfect way to celebrate.

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    1. It is now my standard plan of Birthdaydom and it works well! Yesterday was definitely...interesting. ;)

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  3. Have I told you, Heather (and I hope that this doesn't post twice...), that Annie lived for a long while down the street from us in this tiny, ultra-literary (it sometimes seems that half the best-selling Southern authors live here) town? Next door to Annie lived (And still lives, as a matter of fact) a very well-known photographer friend of mine. Everyone, of course, deeply admires Annie and her work (which is voluminous), but the fact remains that, as anyone who's actually read her work might just possibly guess, Annie is a Very Intense Person......whether that be in regard to what distresses/gladdens/intrigues/concerns/whatever her. What a surprise.

    In any case, I was amused last Spring when, one day, I asked my friend what it was "like" living next door to Annie Dillard. My friend lifted her eyebrows and made a slightly wan smile before saying "Oh, she's just WONderful, of course....but I'll admit there were mornings when I'd start to go out my front door, realize Annie was in her front garden....and I'd think 'Oh, am I UP to this?.....".

    I've got to admit that I, myself, have plenty of mornings when all I want to do is get the recylcling down to the road without having to participate in an intense, half-hour, roadside interview with a renowned author/genius/philosopher/poet. Particularly when I've snuck barefoot out of the house in my ratty pajamas, hoping I won't be seen by anyone.

    A happy birthday to you....and check your email. I just sent you something that you, Remi, and that "new" plumbing of your should appreciate.....

    David Terry
    www.davidterryart.com

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    1. Thank you for the story and for the funny comic strip, David.

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  4. Merveilleux anniversaire…. Francine

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  5. Happy Birthday Heather. You have already begun your year of "entering a wonderful age" by moving into your new house. Wishing you the Best of what life has to offer. ox, Gina

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    1. That is a generous gift of a wish, Gina, thank you.

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  6. Happy, Happy Birthday Heather! Bonne Anniversaire! May the advise of that brocante in Éygalières become reality and luck and health and happiness be with you!

    And you are - a lion! I should have known it, for my dear brother is a lion too! We celebrate his 50th birthday on friday and his whole family, wife and two children are lions too. ( which makes every family meeting pretty "spectacular" ! (;

    I will follow you up in October with the 45 and will also take the advise of the brocante d'Égalières to heart. So lets see what we can do...

    Funny, just this morning I watched the photos I had taken from Égalières. Especially from that impressive chain of rocks juste en face de la Domaine de "La Vallongue". I tried to remember if we drank the "Pierres cassées" or the "Garrigues rouge" for I'd love to order a box... ( Have you seen, they provide "Les nuits lyriques" at the Domaine on sunday and monday...)

    Enjoy your day and say hi to the birds for I love watching them too!

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    1. oh, ok Leo is the word not Lion...//:

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    2. Insofar as birthdays and horoscopes go?....(and I kid you not).....The birthdays of my partner's father, only sibling (a brother), and BOTH grandmothers (who were very close to the family) ALL occur during the three days surrounding Christmas. Arranging a birthday celebration for any of them (given that it was always within one day of Christmas) was so difficult (and quite frankly, anticlimactic) that the family settled, many years ago, on simply celebrating all of the birthdays during one special, Summer weekend. Everyone agreed that the younger brother got to decide where they would go.

      SO?......this family of engineers, literature professors, and epidemiologists would find themselves spending one entire weekend per year at some alarmingly-Americanized "Sea World" or "Star Trek" amusement park.....selected according to the whim of a five-to-twelve year old boy (apparently, he was stripped of this droit de seigneur when he hit puberty).

      According to Herve, however?.....it was always great, silly fun...particularly since none of these places was ever at all the sort of place any of these remarkably sophisticated, French adults would ever have chosen. Thus, no one (except the youngest boy) ever got what he/she explicitly wanted, but everyone got what they really wanted....which was a fun, careless birthday weekend for the family.

      I think the tradition went on for almost twenty years, until my brother-in-law went off to college and the grannies started going off to Paradise.

      ----David Terry

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    3. A whole family of Leo's Silke? Lookout! ;) I am now more like the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz but I still have my moments...And thank you for the advice about the concerts at the domaine - I didn't know that and I bet they are wonderful. Am already hoping that a really positive year will start for you in October. PS. Remi is a Libra!

      And David, of course this made me laugh as you knew that it would.

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    4. Oh course you are! I could have guessed. :)

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  7. Being several (many?) years older than 45, I can honestly say it only gets better! For those of us who really know ourselves, and think about our place in this world, the knowledge is wonderful and only makes life better. Enjoy your birthday, and many, many more!

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    1. Such a beautiful way to put it Libby, merci.

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  8. Wishing all the best to another Leo! Still reading and can't wait to see the new spot all HeatheRemizied!

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    1. I loved this, Heather. So good to hear from you!

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  9. Happy, happy birthday, dear, sweet Heather. (Now I really wish we had come back to Provence again this August so that I could have given you my wishes for a marvelous year in person!) Welcome to 45 (beat you there by a few months, a-hem). Time flies by, doesn't it? I actually read yesterday a quote from someone who said that getting older is a blessing and a privilege, not a given. Not everyone gets to do it. I thought those were wise words. I'm glad that you are feeling so positive about this birthday and the place you have made for yourself in this world. Here's to a humdinger of a year - the fact that you are starting it in a brand new home is bound to bring some delightful things your way.

    I hope that you enjoy your day and your celebration. I will be raising a glass to you! XOXO

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    1. And I to you Jeanne for your continual kindness, it is much appreciated...And that quote is a sobering one and utterly true. Thank you for that as well.
      Gros Bisous
      H

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  10. Happy Birthday! I think you will love this time of your life. R&G

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    1. I hope you are right and I think you are... :)

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  11. Happiest of birthdays to you, Heather! I hope your day, and the year ahead, are filled with good gifts of life and love.

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    1. Merci Lorrie for this beautiful wish, I am taking it in...

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  12. Bonne Anniversaire ... first in your new home! Good beginnings :)

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    1. Always a good thing, Jo-Anne, always a good thing!

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  13. HaPpY bIrThDaY, dEaR hEaThEr, HaPpY bIrThDaY tO yOu! Somehow I missed your last, beautiful post, but not this one! Hope you've had te loveliest of days.

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    1. Thank you for the song, puppyfur! And the compliment too. Both made me smile.

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  14. Happy, happy birthday and lots of wishes that your new home brings you much happiness.

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    1. Thank you V, as I know your "new" home has brought the same to you...big changes...

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  15. I believe I have made it in time...........the clock has not struck midnight over yonder!Is it possible I can remember the 40th?At a friends place........with a pool?Was that 40?Seems like yesterday..........HAPPY DAY to YOU and the family.Your rose is beautiful did you pluck that from the garden?

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    1. The rose arbor isn't in bloom right now! I think it needs a good pruning when the time is right. No, that rose is the last survivor from a beautiful bouquet that was given as a thank you gift.

      And no, that was my 42 birthday, I think - and it was SUCH a great one!

      Thank you for the instagram cake and for being you, Elizabeth.

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  16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
    Live it up! You’re only 45 once!!!
    And to say it with Mark Twain:
    "Whatever with the past has gone, the best is always yet to come."
    Bon Anniversaire, dear Heather!
    ***k


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  17. Happy Birthday Heather...it sounds like you have a wonderful day planned. I have to agree....45-50 is a wonderful turning point. To be honest, it just keeps getting better with every year...really!! Best wishes...Jeanne xx

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    1. Really? Well, if I can grow into as fine of a person as yourself I will be a happy camper.
      Bisous,
      H

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  18. A new birth year, a new home, a new town - how wonderful ! very best wishes, Joan

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    1. Isn't it amazing when it all comes together Joan? I am very grateful.

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    2. It is...over and over. At 45, I ran off and joined the French Foreign Legion!

      Well, my version: became a US Diplomat.

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    3. Of course this made me laugh out loud. Joan of Arc, legionnaire...hmmm...

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  19. Happy Days Heather - enjoy!!! Whooo!!! Consider flowers attached!!

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  20. Happy Heather Day. Wyn, I love it. And I heartily agree!

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  21. happy Birthday from one Aug. 11 birthday girl to another...I'm a few years ahead of you and yes, this is a good time for you to work out your demons...it is probably wise to choose to do it before you have no choice left and absolutely MUST do it...enjoy the new year and the new residence!

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    1. My Birthday partner in crime! I hope that you had a wonderful one and may you be touched by good health and much happiness in the year ahead. What you said rings very, very true to me. Thank you for that.

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  22. A very happy birthday to you. I hope all your wishes come true and sweetness fills every moment!

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    1. Wow. Time to start making a whole lotta wishes! Merci!

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  23. The very warmest and loveliest of birthday greetings to you, dear Heather.

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    1. Thank you so much for all of your loveliness.

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  24. Happy Birthday Dollface! Ring that bell, baby!!

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  25. Start this day with a smile and finish with Champagne. Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment (45) until it becomes a memory. But the best is yet to come. Happy day and best wishes for health and happiness .

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    1. R, it means so much to me that so many people have said that the best is yet to come. I have already been truly blessed with an interesting life - I am so grateful for all that I have had!

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  26. Warmest of birthday wishes to you, Heather. May your day be as special as you are~

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    1. What a lovely thing to say Jackie, thank you.

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  27. I stopped by to see what's cooking and discovered so much news! Congratulations on your new home. And happy birthday! May this year be wonderful. xo

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    1. Hey Ann.......how ironic to come to the computer and see that you've posted on Heather's blog; I was just in the kitchen, writing out a grocery list and warily watching the yardman with his power-tools as he attacked a big, very old banksia rose out back..... and wrapping up a copy of your book....which will be a birthday present for a friend for whom I'm throwing a dinner on Saturday night.

      It's a great book (for those who don't know about it.....just google "Mastering the Art of French Eating")-------t's a particular relief/pleasure for those who, like me, all too justifiably cringe at het-another-book smacking of the "aspirational" or "lifestyle" mode. (i.e.?.....Ann does NOT tell her readers how she just sort of suddenly came into an obvious-shitload of money, blew it on a whim to buy and utterly transform an abandoned mas or villa in Provence or Tuscany, giddily moved into her new home, found some recipes (not to mention her newly liberated and conscience-expanded "inner self"), and thereby found The Secret to Life & Self (!!!!!). In short, Ann's book feels/reads like real life....which is why it's one of my three "go to" presents this past year.

      Best of good fortune to you and yours, as always, Anne,

      David Terry
      www.davidterryart.com

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    2. David, that is so kind of you! I'm sincerely touched by your kind words, especially since you are such a thoughtful and generous reader. From the bottom of my heart, thanks for your support. I'd be delighted to and you signed book plates for any of your gifts. Please drop me a line if that sounds appealing

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    3. Sorry, I'm on my iPad and got mysteriously cut off. Anyway, thanks again and I look forward to more pupster photos on Facebook -- and more posts from Heather! Sorry for hijacking! :)

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    4. Not a worry Ann - I love it when little conversations happen here that don't include me. :) And thank you for your bday and house-warming wishes too!

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  28. I'm sorry. I'm late.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY HEATHER.

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    1. No need to be sorry Edgar, I miss everyone's bdays. :) Thank you!

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  29. I'm a little late to the party, but happy, happy birthday. And may your bell continue to ring for all to hear.

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    1. That is beautifully put Judith and made me smile - merci beaucoup beaucoup!

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  30. A belated happy birthday to you, lovely lady! Hope it was all you imagined and more. I'm catching up on your blog posts finally as I've been in a whole new world of motherhood this past month!!

    Clare x

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    1. Thank you beautiful Mama!!! Sending plenty of bisous to your little one. :)

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