This weekend I danced my way into my 28th year of life. It felt good. Really, really good! The Universe conspired this year to gift me with the very best of birthday presents – a day off work. This day off had no specific purpose, no religious or national holiday status, It was just a day off to give students and teachers a little time to breath during the long haul between Christmas break and Spring break. That ‘breath’ of a break was, beautifully… wonderfully, my birthday!
I did something different on this birthday; I celebrated. I don’t mean with birthday cake and a party (though those things were had too!Thank you Neil and Kim!) but by myself and for myself. When I woke up, sleepy with a full nights rest tucked into my body, I wrapped myself in a blanket and sat on my rooftop to watch the world unfold into morning. I thought about my 27th year of life (and the previous 26th ones to varying degrees) and where I wanted my 28th one to go. I visualized it, breathed into it and then just sat with it letting it fill me up with celebratory and anticipatory joy. The rest if the day unfolded with similar enjoyment: run in the park, birthday family phone calls, massage, lunch with girlfriends, yoga, at home sushi-making and living room dance party. So far, growing older is feeling good.
It was a weekend of many pleasantries, actually. Yesterday we ventured out of Lahore to ‘fish’! Fishing for me took the shape of walking along a river, turtle spotting and playing in the modeling clay like mud. We left empty handed only to buy fried fish from a road side stand. A wealthy local family of one of our co-workers then had us for an outdoor feast of a lunch. As we toured their property a horde of village boys followed our every move; transfixed by the foreigners and the opportunity to have their photos taken…enter more Pakistani posers!
Finally today I listened to some of the speakers at the Lahore Literary Festival, an amazing event that features subcontinent authors and discussions in and around the political and social nature of their writing. It sparked and semi-satisfied my intellectual curiosity and need to analyze and discuss the ‘way things are’ here. This was followed by an afternoon of Spring time bliss in the local farmers market and an afternoon of cooking up the organic ingredients purchased.
Thank you to the people who spent this weekend with me, both in Lahore and from afar. My heart feels full!