Sister number three in our line is a winter baby, born on this date a few decades or so ago. But like the few blooms that brave the cold grip of the January earth in Washington state’s temperate climate, she is an early sign of the season of warmth and growth yet to come, a reminder that winter is finite and spring is ahead.
Like the ethereally delicate crocus, whose pristine tenderness belies its vigor in breaking through the hard earth of the cold season, my sister brings a shining intensity to life that would be unexpected in someone so kindhearted and sympathetic and sensitive, at least to any who didn’t know better. But like the first flowers of the season, she is tougher than even she gives herself credit for being. She sustains an accomplished life that no shrinking violet could hope to do, raising with her marvelous husband two outstanding, smart, and exceedingly charming sons, and keeping her three sisters in line when our inappropriately youthful enthusiasm for life occasionally threatens to get in the way of getting any grownup sort of business done. She’s practical and clever enough to corral our tangents, but also creative enough to steer us toward worthwhile tangents of her own when it’ll help get our projects in hand. For decades, she’s also successfully applied these cat-wrangling skills to the demanding and volatile world of tech business, being the administrative linchpin of support for an array of engineers and executives and other fellow workers that surely must remind her at times of a class of unruly kindergartners destined to never graduate to the first grade. And yet I marvel that she rarely seems to lose her equilibrium over their, or our, antics for very long.
Like the Thalia narcissus, she instead continues to break through the tough old world as a spot of dazzling joy, her bold and decisive will to prevail against life’s trials and vicissitudes carried always in the fragrant flowering of early bloom highlighted by the solemn backdrop of the still-sleeping earth. May the year ahead hold bouquets of such lovely surprise for her, in turn, and her days be a garden of promise and delight. Happy Birthday, my sweet!