Sweet Sixteen

March 10, 2007

The second best thing about making a chocolate cake with seven minute icing is having it for breakfast in the morning.

The last several nights – I have not been able to sleep – the moon is in my eyes and she is wanting to tell me something. I roll over and try to sleep and soon she is in my eyes again – beckoning me to wake up! She who goes down at dawn and sleeps all day! Last night was no different.

This morning though, as I lay in a half-dream state, I heard a raven cawing outside my window. Yesterday as I lay in the bath – two turkey vultures (they look like hawks but they are not!) flew right past my window, cruising just above the pin oak. The moon, the vultures, the raven, all wanting me to pay attention.


I love to celebrate and what better occasion than sweet sixteen? I was running through my memories recalling prior birthdays. I remember turning six and having a twin party with my best friend Lisa. She and I wore matching gingham dresses – hers was pink and mine was blue. Her father who worked in the forestry industry had just completed a massive (to my six year old eyes) deck of wood in their backyard. We celebrated being six outside in the June sunshine. I can remember feeling really happy to share this day with Lisa.

I think I remember turning ten, but I can clearly remember turning 14! I can even remember the orange velvet bell bottoms that I wore to the beach that weekend. We had a wonderful slumber party in the clubhouse of the marina where my parent kept their sail boat. I have no memory of my other birthdays until 18! That was the day that both of my exes showed up with roses. My mother was thrilled and I was mortified.

Of course I remember 21! My mother took me to Victor Hugo’s and ordered me a daiquiri – yuck! Later a man friend took me to a bar and ordered me a scotch – double yuck! It would be a long time before I developed a love of wine and I still don’t like daiquiris or scotch.

Twenty five is vivid in my memory! I spent that day with a very kind and supportive friend – John Eckman. My life was in total disarray – my divorce was final, I was in a new tumultuous relationship, I was at a very uncomfortable crossroads. John opened his heart and his home to me and we spent an evening together. I will always feel a deep sense of gratitude for his kindness at a time when I felt so isolated and unlovable.

Thirty came along and I was on top of the world! In that year, I graduated with a masters degree, built a house, and got married! I wonder what was going on in my astrological charts that year? It was incredible!

Perhaps my best birthday was last year. At the end of a long journey, with the road stretching ahead of me and some free days at last, I decided to take a detour and return to the Great Sand Dunes of Colorado. Before dawn on my birthday I hiked out into the middle of the dune field and sat facing east. It was very cold, and there was a slight breeze. I began to drum. I drummed and drummed and drummed until voila! the sun rose over the Sangre de Cristos! A truly magical and mysterious moment of communion with the sun king.

Now I remember my 16th birthday. I went to the DMV and took a driving test and got my first license! How could I forget that?


Angeles Arrien suggests that instead of celebrating our birthday once per year, that we celebrate it each month by doing something new that we have never done before. I may be cheating a by going a bit early, but my mask making adventure will be my March celebration of my birthday.

Spring quickenings to all!

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