two sharp pencils (a birthday post)

I'm laying on my stomach up in Oliver's play fort in the yard, listening to the three o'clock sounds of an August afternoon. 

I traveled through the yard a minute ago, with my pillow, notebook, two sharp pencils, and my kindle loaded up with new book samples. On the way to the fort, I stopped to pick a zinnia, yellow with red spatters and stripes. For beauty, which is important.

It is pleasantly warm and the clouds are friendly. Today I am 32.

I woke in time for sunrise yoga class, which was hard to do but as always I am glad I did.  Home again, I drank green tea and welcomed my mother and granny and niece and nephew for morning birthday hugs on my doorstep. (I realize one day I will not get to hug my mother or my granny on my birthday. I do not take this for granted.)  I woke Oliver by snuggling in next to him. I took Chad (sick) to the walk-in clinic in town, then to pick up a prescription at the grocery. We stopped at the farm store for chicken feed, where I impulsively picked up a box of pint and a half jars I've been eyeing for a long while. Jars on my birthday-- a modest enough gift for one's self. (Why? They are just the right size. That's all.)

I am writing all this down in a fifty cent notebook from the thrift store, a recent acquisition. Who donates used notebooks? Well, I do, when the inspirational quality has left them. Who buys used notebooks (with plenty of wear left)? I do that too, when I think I have something to say again. 

And what do I have to say?

...

Not nearly so much as I have to learn, to hear, to see, to understand.

Happy birthday to me. Please God, grant me many, many more years.