Parading neighbors make birthday memorable

Dear TRENDS Diary - 

My 60th Birthday was on March 22. I had been planning, for a year or more, some big trips to California and France and Spain to celebrate. I was recently widowed, so I was kind of facing the big 60 on my own, welcoming it in with these trips.

Of course, that all went out the window. I have an underlying health condition, and my doctor said no contact with anyone. It was going to be a really depressing birthday.

My friends knew of the reversal in my plans and they surprised me. It was a beautiful day. At 4 p.m., they organized the whole community to stand outside my back door.

I had my door open, and through the screen, they all sang happy birthday and did a parade slowly in front of my house. It was one of the most memorable birthdays I’ve ever had.

Wild Sage cohousing, where I live, has really come together. They are doing all the things you’d expect: people are getting me groceries, people are going to the pharmacy for one another — really finding very lovely and loving ways within the parameters we’ve been given to stay connected.

We are organizing people randomly into what we’re calling pods: four Wild Sage adult residents to a pod. We’re using randomizing software in the hopes there might be configurations of people who don’t know each other well. Being in a pod, they might get to know each other better.

The pod itself will determine what those four people want to do with their connection. They could just text every day and check in, or it could be a virtual cup of tea or playing instruments for each other, appropriately distanced walks.

And we’re howling along with Boulder every night.

- Linda Tate, as told to Shay Castle