Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Born This Day

"One of the signs of passing youth 
is the birth of a sense of fellowship 
with other human beings as we 
take our place among them."

—Virginia Woolf

My husband put birthday cards next to my pillow at midnight for me to find, a sentimental, heartfelt one and a wildly funny naughty one with music and flashing lights and a pop-up cut-out of love bunnies when I opened it. Oh my God, I laughed. There was a tissue-wrapped present under the beside lamp, but our daughter was already asleep, so I decided to wait and open the gift in the three minutes I had before she rushed out the door this morning. It was the new instant camera that I had been coveting, Fuji's reinvention of the Kodak instant, the camera that documented all the best moments of my twenties. Digital cameras replaced the Kodak and the Polaroid, but now another company seems to understand the nostalgia some of us feel for those blurry, painterly images, tapping into the excitement of watching as the image develops, a surprise every time.

My mother was the first phone call of the day, and my son risked public embarrassment by making his birthday wish to "the no. 1 lady in my life" his Facebook status. My lovely niece at the same college also wished me happy birthday in her status, and now my wall is a scrolling beauty of greetings and messages from all over, making my world feel loving and connected today.

Now I'm off to put in a regular workday, and then tonight will be a pot luck reunion of the South Africa travel group—teachers, students and their parents. My husband is making poached salmon and my daughter is baking a cake, and we will all go and celebrate the success of the the trip and watch a slide show of our students and see the art they help the South African children create and we will feel grateful that they were able to experience such purpose and fellowship.

Speaking of fellowship, I am awed and humbled by the sustenance and friendship I have found here, and on this day I really just want to say thank you for this beautiful and unexpected gift.


  1. Happy Birthday , Angella.
    I'm so very grateful you were born this day.
    And that you become , every day.

    love to you .

  2. happy, happy birthday, dear Angella!
    you are in good company...i hope there will be music somewhere in your day today: it is also the day Pete Seeger and James Brown were born!


  3. deb said exactly what I wanted to say.
    Happiest of days and thank-you for sharing your beautiful self with us.
    YOU are the gift, my dear.

  4. Angella, Happy Birthday.
    I hope you have the best day ever. And I am happy to have found you too.
    Your Friend, m.

  5. Happy Birthday! I'm glad it is a good one. Those old polaroids are awful for those who want to look at and enjoy the old photos! My family had so many good photographers but all the potentially good polaroids are faded, striped and so unusable. Hope you have better luck with your new camera! Looking forward to seeing what you shot with it.

  6. Happiest of Birthdays, dear friend. Hope you have a lovely, lovely day.

  7. Oh Yay! Happy Birthday!!! You are one amazing woman! Enjoy your special day lady.

  8. Happy Birthday!

    I am so HAPPY to have found you!

  9. Happy birthday, dear Angella! I am so blessed and happy to have met you on your gorgeous blog.

  10. Birthdays! Happy Happy one, dear Angella. I hope you have a wonderful day - as it sounds like you are.
    I'm curious about the camera! I was just thinking today I might get a friend a camera for her birthday, but she is, how shall I say, technologically lacking and the whole digital thing might turn her off from ever using it. What kind of camera is it exactly?

  11. Oh Happy day:))))) Happy, happy Birthday, sweet Angella! You are truly an angel on earth. May the coming year bring lots of good health, joy and love.

    You are beautiful, yes you are!

    Hugs and love,

  12. Happy birthday Angella. God's richest blessings on you.

  13. Happy Birthday!! Wishing you many happy returns of the day! xoxo

  14. Happy Birthday, Angella Lister! I'll be joining you in a couple days! ♥

  15. Happy Birthday Angella!!! You are much loved

  16. Happy Birthday! I like to say that birthdays last a week. That way you're sure to collect at least one happy moment in the spirit of your birthday, just in case there isn't time on the actual day itself, but it looks like you're already off to great start today! I wish you the best!

  17. Happy birthday to youuu ♥
    Happy birthday to youuuu ♥
    Happy birthday dear Angela ♥
    Happy birthday to youuuuuuu ♥
    And many moooooooooooooore ♥

    I love you, my friend ~

  18. This comment box feels like a party! Thank you for the birthday wishes. It was a lovely day and it is pure joy sharing it here with you.

    Kristin, i plan to scan and save the instant pix digitally. Hopefully that will protect them.

    Rachel, the camera is a Fuji instax mini 25.

    Sacha, nice to see you!

    Lovelovelove to all of you.

    Hey Bro! you too.

  19. I'm so glad your day was filled with love!

    And such a cool present - those little Fuji instant film cameras look like such FUN. Enjoy it!

  20. Looks like my first birthday well wishes didn't stick here so i'm sending them again!

  21. beautiful handandspirit woman, i am so glad you decided to try again! thank you and love to you.