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.