The perfect gift

Another birthday sails in to port later this month, but I’ve chosen to celebrate my gifts today.

We’ve been blessed with a November heat wave, a rare event here in the northern plains. Many years our snow shovels have already had a vigorous workout.

Yet this morning, my workout routine includes a barefoot walk on a sandy beach. I allow my tired, misshapen toes to wiggle in the chilly waters for a while before putting my socks and shoes back on.

I then walk towards the sunny and empty town docks, serenaded by a lone loon’s distinct yodel.

I find the notes are almost as crisp and clear as the morning air filling my lungs.

Selecting my favorite dock as a table, I remove half of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich from my back pack.

As I take my first bite, I notice the raspberry jam tastes sweeter and the oatmeal bread a little fresher than usual.

After I finish my lakeside breakfast, I cross the railroad tracks back towards my car to drive to work.

But I stop for a minute as I find another gift’s been planted just for me.

It’s the perfect surprise.

A bouquet of wild, late blooming sunflowers!

I pick a few and smile.

Their message might be the best birthday gift of all.

I may be in the autumn of my life, but I can still grow and shine as well.