Sunday, September 7, 2014

Thank you Joni Mitchell.

Eleven years ago Joni Mitchell walked into my store to browse.  Being an avid fan, I immediately went verklempt, my hands started sweating, and I was at a loss for words.  When I finally pulled myself together, we began a life-changing conversation (for me) about aging.  

I knew she was approaching her 60th birthday at the time, so I asked her how it felt… she told me that when she turned 40 she wasn’t that bothered, 50 was amazing, she was really excited about turning 60 and couldn’t imagine how fabulous her 70th would be.  I was so amazed at her positive outlook on growing older, that I chose to follow her lead.  This summer, I celebrated my 60th birthday and it was nothing short of magical.  The whole summer long. 

It began before my actual birthday with a lovely lunch with my dear friend Stephanie.  Balloons, gifts, and lively conversation started my 3-month celebration. I was flown back East so I could be with my family on the big day.  My son was able to join us.  We did a live jam at the local Moonshine Café and I felt very blessed by all who showed up.  During that week I was kidnapped, and taken to one of my sister’s new cottage, surprised by a sailing excursion… every day was a new adventure.

I came home to another big party held in my honour, preceded by yet another sailing trip (do my friends know me or what?), lots of music, a generous contribution to my son’s scholarship fund, and a fabulous pair of cowboy boots that actually match my turquoise Mini, (yes, she is now in my driveway… yet another amazing story), and this was only halfway through June!

While the rest of my summer didn’t completely revolve around me, you already know about my son’s fabulous wedding and how much love was in the air on that occasion!

Next I was off to my annual silent retreat and if you have never done one before, it is the closest thing to heaven when you enter that sweet, sacred silence and meet love in its purest form… and be with it for several days. 

Then there was the “Topless Tour”, where we drove Molly the Mini, top down, to perform in Merritt.  I love playing music with my friends, and this weekend was thoroughly soul satisfying.

(I actually did manage to work in between these exploits, and was able to achieve my next level of leadership in my company… I was feted with flowers and food as acknowledgement.)

But wait.  There’s more! I was able to get myself off to San Diego for a 3-day conference followed by a day in La Jolla learning how to body surf.  Have I said I’m in heaven yet?

Twenty-four hours after returning from that jaunt, I was diving into Lake Sakinaw,  helping Marty celebrate her milestone birthday.  It was four days of amazing feasts, wine, story-telling, frolicking in the water, (including learning how to navigate a stand-up paddle board!), and lots of singing and  ’smores!

Back home for less than 3 hours, I was off to sing at a “Music in the Park” event at Cleveland Park in North Vancouver!

And it hasn’t stopped.  There is still an outstanding boat cruise for me and my friends to wrap up my birthday year.  I must tell Joni how right she was.

How do you thank everyone who has done so much to make this the Best. Summer. Ever.? I’ve decided the best way is to continue to spread the joy, love, and light that was directed my way all summer long.  I am so very blessed.

Branded by love,

Birthday Buns. xo

P.S.  Later that afternoon of first meeting Joni, I found her sitting in a restaurant waiting for a ferry.  I approached her and asked if she would mind some company.  She welcomed me to her table and I sang Happy Birthday to her.  I love getting bolder. She not only inspired me to age joyfully, but also my love of singing.  This is the first song I ever performed of hers.  It's from her album Court and Spark, and I was actually singing “in the lounge of the Empire Hotel”... another great song from this album. 

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