Birthday Card For A Stranger - Text
I hope you’re faring well. I know we haven’t spoken in a while. Or at all, ever in our lives. This is the first contact that we’ve had. If you don’t reply then it will be the last. Don’t worry; I won’t hold it against you.
I have been growing flowers on my roof. I recently discovered my building facilitates something like a garden and so I’ve been spending long afternoons up here, seeing what will grow. It was whilst I was planting daffodils up here that I remembered, suddenly, I had completely forgotten your birthday. In my defence, I never knew when it was in the first place.
So here we are: fifty years. I’m assuming fifty because from what I’ve heard you’ve started looking back more than you’ve been looking forward. That’s understandable, especially the way our world is going now. Sometimes, when gardening, I too prefer to spend time with the plants already grown rather than those still in the ground.
I hope that number fifty doesn’t scare you. Not all of us get this far. When I look down at the city from my little garden on the roof, I am not often filled with hope. Perhaps that is the curse of age. Or perhaps that is just a fact about the world. Either way, I hope you know that there is little point fearing fifty years. You’re here now. Enjoy it. You’re beautiful.
I refuse to write a totally gloomy letter on your birthday. I hope the simple presence of this letter reminds you instead, of the pleasure of being alive. I wanted to tell you that I am proud of you. I mean it. You have taken a moment out of each day to make the world a better place. I can’t tell you how important that is. Every day, making the world a better place than it was before. Holding someone’s hand in hospital. Leaving enough food in the pot. Or writing a birthday card to someone that you’ve never met.
My hand is aching.
Perhaps another sign of age. Or perhaps a sign that I’ve said all I need to say.
Enjoy your birthday , and look forward to the next and the one after and so on. Enjoy each day as it comes and you’ll be sure to enjoy the entire year. What is a day, after all, but a string of moments held together one by one?
I hope you’ll be able to join me in my garden soon. The daffodils are lovely this time of year.