I keep thinking I am going to resurrect the tradition of staying up all night on February 5/6th to greet that last morning before my birthday (Feb 7).
The tradition started with i was 18, in Spain, with Christy D. I am sure I told you this one before. We ended up in Alicante at 5 in the morning on February 6th, but the guesthouse - across from the church with hundreds of white, noisy doves in its moldings - was still not open. We took our bags to the beach and watched the sun rise on the Costa Del Sol. "This is the last sunrise of 18," I remember thinking. Remember that, Christy?
The next year I decided to honour that moment by walking to the old city of Jerusalem with a friend. It was Tu Bishvat (my birthday coincides, depending on the year, with the Jewish holiday of the trees). We packed a knapsack filled with dates and nuts and clementines and all sorts of treats you eat for that holiday. When we got to the old city, we walked through Damascus gate, through the alleyways, and climbed onto a roof of a yeshiva that overlooked the Western Wall. As the sun rose over the Judean Desert, a wild, interfaith cacophony began. The Muezzin began to wail. Jewish holiday prayers at the wall. Church bells rang. Everthing turned from muted grey-violet to orange-yellow. Epic.
I have not done this for a few years. Winter climates tend to discourage night-long wanders. I spent a couple of years writing out my thoughts until late, but the later it got, the less lucid my words became. I usually ended up napping for a bit and setting the alarm to wake up at six.
This morning I woke up in a huge bed, and it is good I did not stay up all night to see the sunrise, because it is very foggy and the sun is obscured. I woke up next to a warm, sleepy body who pressed the snooze alarm several times, just so he could get some stolen minutes of nose-on-back-of-neck, asleep-but-not gorgeousness. When, finally, with a great force of will, I was able get up, he said, eyes closed: "Look, the last sunrise of 30".