“And I think to myself / What a wonderful world…”
(from “What a Wonderful World,”
by Bob Thiele [aka George Douglas], George David Weiss)
Today’s my birthday. It’s my second pandemic birthday, and while last year I felt a slight tinge of sadness about not gathering with family and friends, this year my feelings of love, gratitude, hope and wonder outweigh everything.
I’m so grateful for the miraculous technology that enables us to be connected while apart (or “sacred technology” as my dear friend and soul guide from Colorado calls it; the same friend who believes a birthday should be celebrated for a week… I like his thinking!). Many of my people have used several means to get in touch with me yesterday and so far today: several phone calls, emails, Facebook posts, WhatsApp messages, text messages and a FaceTime call.
Today I awoke early and saw a couple of Facebook birthday messages left earlier by my cousin and her husband in Liverpool, England and an email from my sister. Next, I answered the loud demands of Perry Como the Inside Cat for morning play with him. Then I lit a candle in remembrance of a friend’s son who died too young at age 22, eight years ago today. I made a coffee and settled in to watch a replay of a professional cycling race, stage three of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2021. After my sweety was up, I had a phone call with a brother and Monday morning meditation with our friend Padma and group.
Today in Winnipeg, there has been snow and blowing snow, so an outdoor ride was out of the question. I joined an online cycling event on Zwift.com and rode my trainer for a short 23 kilometres (14 miles). A benefit of indoor cycling was that I could listen to music. I enjoyed a random mix of some great, motivating songs from my Car Tunes playlist, including “Go!” (the live version), “Heaven,” “Don’t Ever Wanna Lose Ya,” “Sultans of Swing,” “The Pretender,” and others. Just as I was cooling down from the ride, I received a FaceTime call from our family in London, England, and a sweet “Happy Birthday” sung by the grandkids. A shower, lunch and a very quick snooze later, I sat down to write this post, and received calls from my two lads, then had a Zoom meeting with an American friend just before dinner time.
Earlier today I thought I would post the Rare Earth song, “I Just Want to Celebrate” (“I just want to celebrate another day / Oh, I just want to celebrate another day of livin’ / I just want to celebrate another day of life…”) and then remembered I’d already posted it before!
Then, Louis Armstrong’s famous 1967 hit came to mind, along with the lyric I used at the top of this page. To me, it sums up how I’m feeling today. Sure, it would be great to have a party, and hopefully, that will happen in the not-too-distant future. But, as we in Manitoba, Canada are now in the third wave of COVID-19, it’s just not safe to gather until cases begin to drop and more people get vaccinated.
There’s a pile of gifts from Sweety that are waiting on the couch, and we just enjoyed a steak dinner (plus, some kind of special dessert is coming later, I believe). With dinner, we had a fantastic wine (Quail’s Gate, Okanagan Valley Merlot) that we had once before on during a 2007 holiday in Vancouver, British Columbia. (After a day of wandering around Granville Island and English Bay/the West End, we found a charming little restaurant that a dear friend had recommended. The waiter — a David Hasselhoff doppelganger — recommended the bottle, and we enjoyed it thoroughly with a lovely meal of small plates while noticing a CBC Radio host Shelagh Rogers and her friends were celebrating at the table next to us. Serendipitously, I recently discovered that it is still being made!)
Also this evening, a dear friend hosted a Facebook live talk with American author, speaker and researcher Brené Brown, and I highly recommend you follow the link and watch while it remains available over the next 30 days.
It’s been a full day already, and there is so much to be grateful for!
Louis Armstrong released “It’s a Wonderful World” as a single in 1967. Apparently, composer Weiss wrote it specifically for him due to the American singer, composer, trumpeter and actor’s ability to bring together people of different races. The song has become much-beloved worldwide and, as I said above, feels like such a fit for today.
Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the video for the song from the official Louis Armstrong YouTube channel:
Edit: the mystery dessert was an amazing schmoo torte/tiramisu, my favourite (I’m not generally a dessert person). It was incredible. Sorry I didn’t take a photo.
PS: I’m ending the day like I started it… watching another stage of Volta Catalunya, and contemplating my many blessings…