Gather one and all.
Celebrate before the fall.
Summer’s fading fast.
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.