“How is it that so many people persist in thinking of their God as a man?” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Ashley Centis by © Camila Gargantini

“This image speaks to me in many levels. Ashley is a new mom. We met in 2008 and I’ve always seen her as a quiet kind soul. Ashley is a nurse. And the day this photo was taken, her little girl was under 10 days old. While talking about the stage she is in her life, it became clear to me that a transition was happening, from her new perception of self to her dedication to care for this new life. A moment of rediscovery, uncertainty and joy.” – Camila G

Image by © Camila Gargantini

An Interview with Ashley

Q. What is the best memory you have from a previous birthday?

A. When I was a kid, there was a McDonalds in the next town over that had the most amazing play park for kids. They certainly don’t make play parks like that anymore. Having my birthday there was always the the most fun.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. Since my birthday is at the end of April, during university it was always exam time. I don’t know if it was worse to have an exam on my birthday or the day after. The day after always meant I had to spend my birthday with my nose in a book.

Q. What was the present you’ve received for your birthday that surprised you most?

A. I’ve always begged my parents for a puppy growing up and they always said no. The year I turned 12 or 13, my parents surprised me with a puppy for my birthday! i thought I was going to have to wait until I was old enough to move out.

Q. Is there a food or dish that you insist on eating on your birthday?

A. I don’t really have a dish that I must eat on my birthday, but I always try to go to a restaurant I’ve never been to so I can try something new.

Q. What do you believe is the most important aspect of celebrating a birthday?

A. I love celebrating birthdays with my friends and family. We don’t always do something special or extravagant, but it’s time I get to spend with the people I love the most.

Q. Do you have any traditions or thing you always do to celebrate a birthday? What is it?

A. Aside from eating food and getting together with my close friends and family, there isn’t much more I’d rather do.