I'm celebrating my b-day for a week. Or more. Once, may be twice, it will be overt, like a party; but most times I'm the only one who knows.
The day before I left Kaslo I discovered damp walls in my closet. Inspection revealed not jut seams that needed caulked but a dozen tears in my roof. Go figure---not a clue to their origin. Ken and Bob, friends with whom I'd shared wine and dinners at Carole and Chris', proceeded to show up the next morn and work for 5 hours cleaning, drying and sealing. My angels. My first b-day present. That night Bob "collected" me (don't you love Canadian-speak?) and treated me to a farewell dinner at the Kaslo Pub. We talked RV's---it's his dream to spend less time tied down and more time rolling down the asphalt. No one deserves it more. He was the RCMP guard for Margaret Trudeau when he was young; but more recently the point person in Bosnia for identifying corpses in mass graves. My time with him, gift #2.
Numero 3 was the piece of homemade apple pie Chris slipped me on my way down the road. Number 4 was the friendly female reception at the US border. She took my limes with a smile and surprised me with a sudden question about Iowa, my birth state. I know she didn't read my solar return chart for this year. It had to be the quick check button on their computers. A little scary. Had they also skimmed my emails of the past 90 days as I waited in line?
Present #5 was the sudden connection with a friend in Sandpoint; a dinner of steaks and wine. My only regret was that I didn't choose the wine called, "Layer Cake."
I'm still a couple of days in front of BIG 60, in mosey-mode. I'm hitting the hot springs of northern and central Idaho, making spontaneous pilgrimages through neon-golden Larch, hunting camps and high mountain meadows coated in thick morning frost. Last night I parked on a serene lakeside shore, complete with migrating white pelicans, ponderosa pine and goldeneye ducks. And every night a fire.
Today I follow a serpentine road to Golden Fork Hot Springs. I'll stay one more night in the wild before I hit Boise and return to the smile of my dear friend Johanna. It will be full circle since I departed for Alaska on June's new moon.
It doesn't take a birthday to accept each day as a gift. Every snow white pelicano's wing flap is a miracle of the moment. The waxing moon soaks the night in molten light. Wraps me snugly in the ... present.