Despite the pandemic and the corresponding stay-at-home order, San Diego beaches opened in time for my 30th birthday—my first birthday celebrated in Southern California: home state of my heart!
I was born on a rainy Saturday afternoon in Green Bay, Wisconsin. A day earlier, my mother had gone into labor while at the rodeo — appropriate since I fall in the zodiac of The Bull. Little Keenan, my eldest brother, was nearly five years old, his head rested in my mother’s lap at the rodeo. There in the stands, she suddenly felt: “Delaney wants out.”
30 years later, I took the day off work. Yes, a blessing that I needed to take the day off considering many Americans are jobless during this COVID-19 storm.
♦ Tuesday, April 28, 2020 ♦
I slept in. My boyfriend went to an early-morning doctor appointment. By the time he got home, I had taken my 30-year-old self-portrait using SnapChat. Please see below.
Relax, relax, I’m still female. Pretty cute as a male, though, right? Lady magnet perchance? Love this SnapChat filter! Helps me to honor my androgyny.
Sujantra came home and we snapped one together.
My sugar (Sujantra) then sprinkled me with birthday gifts. A deep green t-shirt, two pairs of beautiful, bohemian earrings, a blue candle, and a deluxe version of Scrabble for the two of us. (Later in the week I won our first match… naturally.)
Next up, we made Valentine Pancakes for brunch. Click the link if you’re curious; I’ll say no more.
Later in the afternoon, the absolute best part of my 30th birthday, we headed to the beach…
Just as Sujantra and I hopped in the car to head to the beach, Keenan and Quinn (two of my brothers) called me to say Happy Birthday. I stayed on the phone with them until Sujantra and I had almost reached La Jolla. The conversation was so life giving. Jokes, laughter, and filling them in about my life, my day.
I was so excited by the call that I kept texting them photos and short video clips of the remainder of the afternoon. Here’s the best video I caught:
The burning question is… Did we go swimming on April 28, 2020? The burning answer is… yes, we did. As a woman weaned on Lake Superior temperatures, nothing was stopping me, though I did give pause to the reddish-brown color of the tide that day, caused by phytoplankton (Google it).
Communing with nature, dipping into that deep blue sea, getting knocked over at least once by an unexpected wave, saltwater in my left eye, swimming into some harmless seaweed, spotting a seal not far off the shore… this was the blissful highlight of my 30th birthday.
After getting out of the water and toweling off, we sat on the rocks and were soon asked by the patrolman to please not linger and sunbathe. The stipulation to open beaches is that people must keep social distance and not stick around to sunbathe. Fine enough for me! I had reached my satisfaction with the swim.
Being on the West Coast, being near the Pacific Ocean, has been a dream of mine since I was 13 or 14. I made it out here at age 29, and yesterday (May 1st), I celebrated my 1-year anniversary living in San Diego. With the birthday and anniversary falling close together, it has been a sweet week. And tomorrow, Sunday, May 3rd, Sujantra and I will celebrate 9 months of partnership.
After venturing out into the quarantined world, we returned home in time for Sujantra to lead his Tuesday-evening, guided meditation. You can find the meditation here. The theme was Creativity.
As if the day couldn’t get any better, we made fettucine alfredo with broccoli, mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes for dinner, and we played Gin Rummy 500 as we ate. ♠ ♣ ♥ ♦ Sujantra won.
To wind down, we watched the second episode of “The Power of Myth,” an interview series with Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers from the late 1980’s. Still incredibly relevant today, the series is deeply probing and deeply insightful as it explores mythology and the hero/heroine’s journey so prevalent in myth, and in life.