It happened that yesterday was my birthday. I would have wished for better weather had I known it was going to be so dreary and wet all day, and there was a distinct torpor in the morning schedule that may have been attributable to the change in the weather after such a sunny weekend, but apart from that it was a fine day.
Most likely, if people here know it is your birthday, you will have 'Happy Birthday' sung to you at work meeting, and this was the case yesterday (we also sang for Anna whose birthday was the day before). I had several visits from the chocolate fairy with offerings left on my desk, in the office, outside my room, and even under my cushion in the zendo when I went to sit in the afternoon - and I guess I am okay with being type-cast as a chocolate lover - as well as flowers, cards, phone calls, emails and messages from friends and family, and a good number of hugs.
I did try to get some work done in the morning, and then it was my turn, with Bernd, to do lunch dishes. Many people commented along the lines of 'they made you do dishes on your birthday?', but I was fine with it - apart from giving me occasion to interact with everyone who was having lunch, it didn't feel like much of a chore.
And anyway I had an appointment to go to Kabuki baths afterwards, courtesy of a recent benefactor, which made for a nice indulgent stretch of the afternoon. I enjoyed noticing how different my gait was on the way back compared to the way there, and tried to carry that feeling through the rest of the day.
To wrap things up, being Monday, we had our Young Urban Zen meeting - for which I am now even further past the age range of course. I had thought that the wet weather might keep a few people away, but on the contrary, we had the biggest meeting yet, with thirty people showing up. About half the group came along to the Orbit Room afterwards, as some of us had for Hannah's birthday a few weeks ago, to expand our practice together beyond the cushion. It turned into a slightly later night than I had anticipated, mainly because we were having fun. I am happy to report that all the residents in attendance made it safely to the zendo this morning, as did one or two others, who were perhaps wanting to show their determination. I confess that I was not feeling at my freshest, and that during second period my concentration was more than haphazard; a fine demonstration of how intimately cause and effect are linked.