Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fifty-Seven



There are good birthdays, bad birthdays, and every kind of mediocre birthday. Lord knows, I've had plenty of all of the above. I've heard the song, made the wish, blown out the candles so many times, or so it seems.

Fifty-seven years ago, the day I was born, it was Chinese New Year's Eve, just like today, though in 1953 it was new year's eve of the year of the Dragon. I was born four hours before a solar eclipse, when the dark moon was at its very darkest, and the lunar nodes aligned exactly with the moon and sun. It was Friday the 13th, too. What a day!

My mother could not have been having the best time; my father was hospitalized with a torn Achilles tendon and therefore not working. Of course he would be treated differently now for the same ailment, but in the '50's, who knows what they did? There was no such thing as sports medicine then. McCarthyism was the toxic political movement of that time, the Tea Party Activists of the 1950's. Both my parents were politically active liberals and suspected Communists, hence it was hard for them to find work. I was their third child, so there were many mouths to feed. I'm guessing my mother was worried that day. Who wouldn't be?

It was a brutal era for childbirth. I'm certain my mother was strapped down, flat on her back, and drugged out of her mind. (One of my many unsubstantiated theories is that the Baby Boomers got into hallucinogens so intensely because all of us were drugged at birth. As adolescents and young adults, we sought the solace of the womb through marijuana and LSD. ... Makes sense to me.)

Dr. Grey, the attending physician, did not resort to yanking me out of my mother with tongs, even though it was a common practice back then. Thank you, Dr. Grey, wherever you are. And thank YOU, Elizabeth, my dear mother, for bringing me into the world. I know it wasn't easy, and I know I was never easy. Thank you, thank you, wherever you are, too!

Ah - but that was then and this is now. Who says the "good old days" were better than now?? I am healthy, hearty, and mostly good humored at age 57. I am not ashamed of my age; quite the contrary, I am impressed I'm still here. I like my silver hair and feel more comfortable in my middle-aged body than I ever did as a hormone-riddled younger person. My personality is better suited to an older body. I have arrived!

Today I will work a little bit, read tarot for customers at my roommate's card/gift shop this afternoon, then have dinner with my roommates tonight. Life is good and I am grateful.

Another year bites the dust. L'chaim, y'all!


Drago, one of the 88 constellations and my Chinese astrological sign.

45 comments:

Janelle said...

happy birthday reya darlin'!!!! sounds like you're spending it in a magical and worthwhile way...sending love and birthday thoughts from here to there...XXX janelle

mouse (aka kimy) said...

happy birthday dear dear reya!! what was going on with the cosmos on the day of your birth seems to be so profound, and so profoundly reya!!

thank goodness dr grey didn't go in for forceps.... they were quite popular as an 'aid' when women were too drugged to push.

57 is such a lovely number - and it sounds like such a fine day is a head.

l'chaim!!

willow said...

Happy Birthday, Reya!! Hope you have a lovely day, dear friend! xx

(I was one of those 50s forceps babies, too, btw)

C.M. Jackson said...

reya--happy birthday!! have a wonderful day!

steven said...

happy birthday you lovely person!!! i was born in fifty seven so i have a special affection for the number but that's all it is - a number!! you are so far outside whatever fifty seven might signify! i am so grateful for you being you. steven

Dan Gurney said...

Happy Birthday. You were born on an astrologically powerful day. And on the 13th, too. I was born on a 13th, too, though Saturday.

May your 57th continue to go well for you.

Susan said...

happy, happy day of your birth.

e said...

Enjoy your birthday, Reya! I was one of those end-of-the-fifties drugged mothers-forceps-premies. I always felt sad about what my mother had to endure...one more reason for trying to make the most of every day...

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Lovely way to spend your birthday...and as I turn 58 in a few days, I too feel right about my age, my looks and my style and I love my silver grey hair!

Linda Sue said...

Seems my best most astonishing friends are February babies- and all of them are older than YOU, You young thang! I like your correlation of ether moms and hippie drugged out children-Could be a study- I always thought it was partially due to the narrowness of the fifties becoming intollerable to kids who were not fooled by dishonesty and hypocrits, now, I wonder, where did our population of smarter children go? When Obama was elected- THAT was a bright spot...now what. Anyway, beside the point, Happy Day to you! So glad that you got born, Reya!

The Pollinatrix said...

Happy Birthday! I love what you say here about being the age you are. I've always looked forward to getting older, and definitely find myself more comfortable in my skin now in my early forties than I ever have before.

What Tarot deck(s) do you use?

Angella Lister said...

Happy birthday, Reya!

Barry said...

Happy Birthday Reya. 57 is a wonderful age, I remember it well (or think I do, which is almost as good).

Deborah said...

beautiful
as are you
and
your parents had a grand slam bridge game win the night mama went in to have you
they both spoke of it often
and what a lucky day
Friday, February 13th was

I couldn't agree more
or love you more

Reya Mellicker said...

I thought Hannah was the grand slam baby, and I was the pregnancy during which Elizabeth worked an extra month so she could buy the Ames dining room table and chairs. Whatever.

Also I think Papa had torn his Achilles tendon. All myths ...

THANK YOU ALL for your wishes.

Today I'll be using Kat Black's Touchstone Tarot, a really beautiful, classy deck that she assembled from medieval paintings. All the esoteric symbols have been removed, but the design of each card is faithful to traditional decks. Very cool! Thanks for asking.

Reya Mellicker said...

Deborah I couldn't be the grand slam baby because Papa was already in the hospital when Elizabeth went into labor.

Mrsupole said...

Happy Birthday to you Reya, may your day be blessed and full of happy thoughts. To have your health is beyond measure, and yes to still be here, is one of the greatest gifts we can all receive.

Life is precious,
Smile everyday,
Laughter is contaigious,
Hug someone.
Let your heart beat to it's own drum, do your own thing.
Have happy thoughts and dreams.

Have a happy, happy birthday.

God bless.

Karen said...

What a beautiful entry. Wow, big goings-on in the sky on that day, eh?

I know I already said this on FB, but happy birthday! :) I have really enjoyed making your blog a part of my day. I'm happy you're in the world.

ellen abbott said...

Happy day Reya.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thank you!

John Hayes said...

Happy Birthday again! Amazing thoughts on birth in the 50s; for all my physical problems, I also feel more at home in my self in my 50s than I ever did as a youth.

Nancy said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, REYA!! I loved this post. Exactly how I want to feel in November when I turn 57! How amazing we are here. Hope you have the right and perfect day today.

Coffee Messiah said...

1953 was some year, as have been all that followed.

Happy Birthday!!!!

July is mine, and it's hard to believe that growing up, it seemed like an old age, but now?????

Not very! ; )

Cheers!

Rebecca Clayton said...

Happy Birthday, Reya! I'm with you on the age thing. When I was a little girl, I could only imagine myself as an old lady, never as a young woman. Perhaps that means we long for wisdom.

Wishing you many wise and wonderful returns of the day!

The Bug said...

Happy birthday! Dr. M was a Friday the 13th baby - VERY lucky (for me anyway)...

CocoDivaDog said...

Happy Birthday Girl.
You were indeed born on an interesting day. wow.
x

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks!

A friend made me a t-shirt once upon a time, with my intense astrological chart on it. Underneath the chart, it said, IT'S NOT MY FAULT!

Pauline said...

Happy Birthday, you kid, you!

California Girl said...

Happy Birthday today and Happy Valentine's Day tomorrow!

Ronda Laveen said...

Thanks for the intriguing back story. It is very clear to me why you are who you are. Your theory makes sense to me.

Giving tarot readings on your birthday is great regeneration. Wish I was sharing with you.

XXXOOO

Tom said...

Happiest of days, Reya!

Hilary said...

I have a birthday coming up.....my 63rd. I am amazed, like you , that I have lived this long.
I love the pic of your dog, Jake. It reminds me of my pit bull, Chickiwu.....I tried to find another picture to see if I was right, that they looked so much alike, but couldn't find one.
Love your blog. You take beauteous pictures.

Mary Ellen said...

Here's hoping for many, many good ones. It is gratitude - as you so freely express - that keeps us anchored on the planet.

janis said...

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Reya, Happy Birthday to You!
What a lovely post! I am trying to embrace my age. I sometimes am too hard on myself.
57...I do like that number. I am sure it's gonna be a great year.
I believe this year is the year of the Tiger (Chinese calendar)?
Hope you have a wonderful Birthday Week :) ~love you~ :)

Meri said...

Happy, happy! Be the queen today. And I think it's weird that after us baby boomers insisted on natural childbirth unless it was totally out of the question, our "babies" are now demanding drugs.

Chris Wolf said...

How do I find out what Chinese sign I was in 1964? Some say I'm a rabbit, some think I'm a dragon. You know so much about your birth day, I've never thought about mine like that before. So cool.

Cyndy said...

Happy Birthday Reya! May the coming year be your best ever!

Steve said...

Hope you had a great birthday, Reya! :)

Lynne said...

Happy Birthday Reya!
Sorry I didn't read you yesterday so now I am late with my wishes for a perfect day! Hope it was great!

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks for all these beautiful birthday wishes! Wow!! I feel rich in blog friends and real friends. Thank you!!

lacochran said...

Happy belated birthday! I hope it was fantastic and that the year ahead is your best to this point!

Gary said...

I hope you had a wonderful birthday and am glad that you are right where you should be. xoxo

glnroz said...

big ole Texas happy birthday to ya. Yep,, Silver is great. snow here too.. derndest thing.. again Happy Birthday.

Reya Mellicker said...

Snow in Texas?? That's just wrong!! Thanks for the good wishes!

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Happy birthday, Reya! I can't believe I missed it. I think I was on the road. Anyway, belated greetings! I loved my late 50s and it sounds as though you are settled into your life--happy & well-adjusted! It's a great year!