Saturday, August 14, 2010

New Moon

Driving home Thursday night, my friend and I spotted a beautiful crescent moon. To millions of people around the world that sliver of light signaled the start of Ramadan. To me, it signaled the start of another year of my life. Thursday was my birthday. No need for you to know which.

Over the years I have learned to initiate celebrations if I suspect that others might not remember. So I had asked a friend to go out to dinner with me (dutch) at a wonderful restaurant with great food served on a beautiful patio where we, and others, would be serenaded by great jazz.

After I had set up the Thursday event, I received invitations first from another friend, then from my brother and sister-in-law. So I celebrated Friday and will celebrate again later today. That should do it.

During the day on Thursday, I spent much of my time responding to cyber “Happy Birthdays” – from people I had worked with, people I had done ceremony with, and people I had learned from and taught. Most astounding: the South African connection restored. But each had great significance, each reflecting different strands of my adult life. I felt rich indeed.

[It would have been nice if my kids had remembered … but they’re male. They’ll probably think of it next month. They mean well.]

I like the idea that my ‘new year’ and Ramadan started at the same time this year (or about the same time). Ramadan is the holiest of months in the Islamic calendar. By fasting from dawn to sunset, Muslims believe they burn away their sins – clean their personal slates. Obviously with special meals three days in a row, I’m not fasting. However, I am using this particular birthday to think seriously about where I go from here. Wherever that might be, it will be enriched by all the personal connections I have made and will make in whatever time is left for me.

So for me, for all my connections, and why not -- when they celebrate ‘Eid-ul-Fitr’ in about a month -- for the millions of Muslims around the world: Happy New Year!


  1. Happy birthday, Mim! Did you see any meteors after admiring the crescent moon? The Perseid shower peaked about then. I haven't tried to look yet myself, as I got busy this weekend hunting fossils and such.


  2. I knew there would be a meteor shower (a stellar birthday greeting indeed!) but somehow missed it. Just one of innumerable wonders that occur unnoticed.