Yep. It’s that time of year when a slice of cake or a cupcake with a candle plunks on the table before me, and the angels in heaven sing joyous songs. They sing joyous songs, but not about me, despite this being the anniversary of my birth. Actually, tomorrow is the anniversary of my birth. But I’m posting today.
Birthday tulips and Birthday picture book (Yes, this book is just as delightful as it looks.)
I began the week thinking about the upcoming day and feeling old. No, I won’t tell you how old. I felt a little better when I recently read this article at Brain Pickings on the world’s oldest living things, an article inspired by a book—The Oldest Living Things in the World—by famed photographer Rachel Sussman. I didn’t make the cut, since the book’s minimum age requirement is 2,000 years. Whew!
One of the items on the list is the bristlecone pine tree. If you live outside the U.S., you may or may not be familiar with this tree. They’re found in the Western states. Some of them look like hairbrushes I’ve had. I’ve always found these trees fascinating, since they’re over 5,000 years old. And I thought the clothes in my closet were old. For someone like me who routinely kills house plants (even cut flowers like the tulips above should be very afraid when they come to stay at my place), anything living over 5,000 seconds, let alone 5,000 years, has my attention.
The Brain Pickings article included this quote from Sussman’s preface:
The oldest living things in the world are a record and celebration of the past, a call to action in the present, and a barometer of our future.
Celebrating a birthday inspires me to look at the past, the present, and the future as well. In taking inventory of my life, the call to action I feel most keenly these days is to finish my book. To think that I started it three years ago! I’m starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel on that. I think of the book as a hopeful barometer of my future, a future in which this child of mine exists in bound form on someone’s bookshelf. By writing it, I’m celebrating the past as well, a past in which my parents read stories to me before I went to sleep to get me to love books as much as they did (and still do). Reading inspired me to write stories of my own. Over the years, I worked to develop my craft, a desire which led me to VCFA.
So, thanks, Mom and Dad. Thanks for giving me life, and for introducing me to great books. Without that introduction, I wouldn’t be the writer I am today.
And thanks to all of you who stop by to read my blatherings on this blog. Have a metaphorical slice of cake. You deserve it. Go on. There are no calories. And if you drink a diet Coke with it, the calories you ingested yesterday won’t count either.
As I close, I have to tell you about something silly that happened to me recently. I received a lovely tin of tea and had looked forward all afternoon to having a cup. Well, I grabbed the first mug I saw sitting around and tossed in a tea bag, then added water and sugar. (Yes, I am a Philistine who uses sugar in her tea.) What I totally forgot was that earlier, something splashed on the outside of my salt shaker. Before washing it, I emptied the salt into the first thing I could grab. You guessed it. The very cup I used for the tea! I took a big swig and . . . arggggghhhh!!! This is what I get for not paying attention to what’s at the bottom of a cup! Now, I really feel old!
What is your call to action? How did the past shape this call? How do you think it will shape your future?
While you think about that, the Feral Cat says hi. (I wrote about him in this post.) Can you make him out? He’s the orange tabby sleeping at the bottom left outside the window.
Cupcake from treatsastastytaters.blogspot.com. Birthday cake from freepik.com. Barometer from edupic.net. Bristlecone pine from Wikipedia. Book cover from Goodreads.
Happy Birthday, Linda! I’m so happy you are in this world and that our paths have crossed!!! Enjoy your tulips and books and tea and cake. Wish I were there to share them with you.
Thanks, Sandra! Wish you were too. 😀
Love brainpickings 🙂 I also saw some of Sussman’s work in a recent issue of Orion. Great stuff, thanks for sharing.
Thanks, Isaac. Yes, her work is lovely! Seems like a great book to have in one’s collection.
Such a lot in one post!
1. That book about the oldest living things looks good.
2. What a great gift your parents gave to you, (along with life!) the love of books. This is something I try to pass on to my children. When we fostered I made a point of enrolling any child placed with us in the local library.
3. What is my call to action? Hmm…..I’m going to have to think on that one.
4. Do a lot of people in your country drink tea? It is a very English thing to do, although coffee is catching up.
5. Good to hear you are approaching the final straight with your book, I look forward to reading it.
6. Finally,-Happy Birthday to you ! 🙂
Thanks, Andy. Yes, a lot of people drink tea, many as an alternative to coffee. I drink both. At night I prefer to drink tea. But during the day, I’m downing coffee like there’s no tomorrow.
I’m glad you’re instilling a love of reading in children. It’s such a help to building imagination.
Happy birthday! That tea looks delicious. Never had chocolate-flavored tea before, so I need to search for it now. Enjoy your cupcake/slice of cake/slice of pie/whatever.
Thanks, Charles. You can find it at Target! Hope you enjoy it when you find it.
Happy Birthday, Linda! Chocolate Mint tea…yum! I’ve never seen that before. Enjoy your special day. The world is a better place because of you!
Thanks, Jill. 😀 You can find chocolate mint tea at Target. But hold the salt. 😀
Hope you have a great weekend!
Great post and Happy Birthday! 😀
Thank you! I’m looking forward to cake. 😀
Ooh, chocolate and mint tea, yummy. I’ve actually made hot chocolate using mint tea instead of milk a couple of times. Very nice. Happy Birthday, Linda! May this year bring you much fun and success in writing and life.
Thank you, Stephanie! 😀
I haven’t tried that–making hot chocolate with mint tea. Good idea!!!
Awwww! What a special day, tomorrow will be!! I am wishing you a beautiful, eventful, gratifying and UN-SALTED birthday, Linda!! LOL 🙂 🙂 xo
Thanks, Maria! Unless the salt is on some sea salt caramels! Then I’ll take it. But in my tea? Nope! 😀
Looking forward to reading your book — as far as my call to action is concerned, I started pursuing music with a vengeance when I realized I could actually do it effectively, and all of the things I’d said to myself over the years about how it was “too late” for me to develop a real understanding of it were just blatantly wrong. Now I am in “making up for lost time” mode.
Happy Birthday, my dear friend! I hope it’s a beautiful day filled with wonder. You are so deserving. And in your honor, here’s a familiar face:
Thanks, Sharon! Ha ha! I might have known I’d see him. 🙂 He has the same schedule I have! Sit quietly. Eat cake.
I am too, Chris. The great thing about the present is that we can start something new, something that will take us into the future. Maybe the right time is now rather than the past.
Happy birthday Linda! Hope you have lots of cake, tea and books for your birthday! 🙂
My call to action was starting the book I’m currently working on. That, and to start taking myself seriously as a writer after years of dreaming of *one day* becoming a writer.
It’s so exciting that you’re almost at the end of your book’s journey – looking forward to hearing all about it when it’s done!
Thanks, Celine! I plan to indulge! I’m glad you’re taking yourself seriously as a writer. That’s the best gift you can give yourself! “One day” is today!!!!
Wonderful, human and real post, Linda. From the birthday cupcake (and then the cake) to the salt in the tea cup–and everything in between–this was a very special post.
Best wishes and birthday blessings!
Thank you, Marylin!!! 😀
Happy Birthday L.
It’s a miracle any of us are here. So perhaps you could spend the day celebrating the miracle that shouldn’t have been.
My call to action is waking up. Phew. Made it. Start again. Create.
Have a unique one.
Good one, John! Actually, I’m the miracle. I had a sister who died the year before I was born.
Linda, I hope you have a wonderful and magnificent birthday tomorrow. I’d like to thank your parents as well for raising such an amazing person. And don’t feel too bad about the salty tea… I once was making bacon and had emptied the grease into a cup… I reached for my coffee mug and took a drink without looking… yeah, that was gross. 🙂
Have a nice, relaxing birthday weekend!
Thanks, Phillip. 😀 Wow! How awful!!! Ewwwwww. I hope you didn’t take a huge swig of that!
It’s been a good day! Hope you’re having a good weekend!
Happy Birthday, Linda. Here’s to as much sugar in your tea as you can stand, and your happiest year yet.
40 was my call to action. The jury’s still out on that. 🙂
I think writing that book was a call to action. It led you to walk 444 miles! Glad you answered the call! 😀
Happy birthday, Linda! Hope you had a great one!
Sarah! Thank you! How are you??
Happy, happy birthday! The tea incident made me laugh. Once, I put way too much sugar in my tea–it was an accident! But it couldn’t be born. I tried though.
Thanks, Professor! I’ve done the abundance of sugar before too. The salt addition was pretty gross!
Happy Birthday!!! Sorry I am a day late–running so behind. I hope it was delightful!!! ((Hugs)) ❤
Thank you, Skye. And it is actually today. So you’re on time. 🙂
Happy birthday! I’m so glad I finally got back to reading some blogs today, and that yours was my first stop. Hope you’re having an amazing day.
Sorry about that tea, though. Ugh!
Thanks, Kate!!! Does that mean you met your deadline???
Nope. All it means is that I’m back at home, and I missed my blog friends too much to stay away.
I’ll post an update tomorrow. For now, I’m going to get a glass of wine to celebrate your birthaversary, because I have no cake. 🙂
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Happy birthday, Linda! Actually, it’s now a belated birthday wish because my Internet hasn’t been as accessible as usual (which also means I get more other work done). And I’m thrilled to hear that your book is almost done. That’s going to be a wonderful celebration!
Thanks, Lyn. Are you still in Portugal?
Happy belated bday!
Thanks, Naomi! Hope you’re doing well.