They each brought a fruit salad made with fruits of the season, a yummy smoothie, and a cheesecake, and we chatted away until the sun set. Then, they sang Happy Birthday and I blew a candle that Eric was holding, we ate the cake, and it was time for me to go to bed. We sang two chants accompanied by a shruti box, and when we finished, Eric and I said our good-byes.
I had three small parties instead of a big one, but I felt as happy and fulfilled and grateful as if I had had a big one. And I got simple presents from Eric and Nathan, Eric’s side of the family, and my friends, but they warmed my heart as much as if I’d gotten many elaborate ones.
I can’t put a name to it, but my whole body feels enveloped in a light, soft blanket that will stay there for me so I can bring it a little closer whenever I need to.