A hilariously funny, cheeky birthday song. 😉
I don’t remember ever wanting to celebrate my birthday. I have no idea why my birth anniversary had to be so filled with trepidation and worry. Could I have been born into the wrong family? Perhaps the stork had dropped me at the wrong address. Certainly as a child, I felt like the odd one out – an odd child that no one understood. There was a sense of loneliness and isolation that crept into my heart and soul, and remained there for some years. My family were traditional in every way. Besides mum and dad, there were three other siblings, although they were much older than me. My older brother had already left for the services when I was only two years old, my other brother was always out-and-about doing his paper rounds. His whole goal in life, even from a young age, was to earn money to afford an expensive home. He achieved that later on. My sister was, huh, what would you say? She was zany! I don’t remember her too well. She married young so our relationship was never a close one.
Going back to my birthday experiences, even mum’s attempt to throw a birthday party would end up with me in tears, sitting outside on the stairs. I just couldn’t take the anxiety of all those cards and presents that, in those early days, were abundant.
I loved other people’s birthdays though. My mother’s birthday on the 1st September was celebrated with bouquets of bright, colorful flowers. I remember huge bunches of Dahlias and Sweet Williams, freshly picked from the garden, adorning the dining-room table. Everyone I knew enjoyed their birthdays, except for me.
To go forward in time to 1985, we’d arrived back in England after many years abroad. My husband, daughter and I, had rented a flat in a London suburb. The flat, itself, was nice enough with comfortable furniture. There was a phone sitting conveniently on a small table in the hallway. The only problem was: the phone was disconnected! We had moved in on the 1st of June, and a few days later, on the 5th of June, both my sister and my sister-in-law would be celebrating their birthdays. I remember clearly on the evening of the 4th June, I lay in bed thinking about their respective birthdays, wishing all the while, I could phone them the next morning. Of course with a disconnected phone this was something I was unable to do. Sighing, I calmly let that wish go.
On the morning of the 5th of June, I was awakened by a soft ‘brrr’ of our telephone. Was I dreaming or what? Then it rang again, then again! I quickly sped to the hall to answer the call but there was no one there. What I heard instead was a dialing tone. The phone had been mysteriously connected!
I quickly called both my sister and sister-in-law to give them birthday wishes. We discussed at length the weirdness of the sudden phone connection. I gave them both the phone number that was penciled in on the dial ring. Both promised to call back.
After that, the phone remained curiously silent. I called them both again. They said, they had tried to ring but the line was dead. There was no such number listed. As there was no way to check the line, we just laughed this off as a cosmic joke or perhaps as a prayer answered.
Over the coming week I called them often, although they could not return my calls. Then, all of a sudden, the phone “died” again and remained dead. We never did receive a bill. I look back at the joyful experience with gratitude and thanks. I shall never forget that morning as long as I live and the joy a simple phone call brought.
I have another small story about my birthday to share here.
On my very first visit to Sathya Sai Baba, He told me, a few days before my birthday, (my birthday fell during my visit), he’d call me for an interview or “audience” on my birthday. The day came and went without without even a mention of an audience with him and I was never to have one. Now, I often think: ‘What did he mean by birthday?’
Many sages tell us often that the day we are born is not our birthday at all, it is the day we die to a higher self that is the day for real celebrations. I guess I am still awaiting my Birthday and its celebrations – not sure when it will come, but meanwhile I muddle through the traditional birthdays, knowing that a higher one awaits.