“Always leave a window open for the spirit to come in” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Self Portrait by © Cyndal Lorch

Image by © Cyndal Lorch

An Interview with Cyndal

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

A. I think my best birthday memory was when I turned 12 and went to get my ears pierced. I have 2 older sisters, and it was a tradition that on your 12th birthday you got to get your ears pierced, and since theirs were already done, it felt like I had been waiting so long for my turn. On my birthday there was a snowstorm so I thought it wasn’t going to happen, but my mom still had my appointment set and we went anyways. She picked me up after school, we drove into town and that was that. 

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. My worst birthday memory would have to have been my 25th birthday. It was a difficult time for my family as my niece was still battling cancer and obviously a few other occasions fell through the cracks. My birthday came and went and I didn’t hear anything from my parents. I figured because it was so close to Christmas and I’d be going home to visit in a couple days that they were just saving it, since it was a milestone birthday. I got home for Christmas and still nothing, which was weird, but I didn’t say anything. They only remembered when my youngest brother reminded them.

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

A. Being reminded of the passing of time and how quickly a year can go by. I think birthdays are a good time to remember, reflect and set goals.

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

A. Growing up in our family, the day was all about the person who’s birthday it was. As part of our family birthday tradition, the birthday child got to pick the kind of birthday cake they wanted. They also got a special birthday breakfast and dinner. We got to choose all of our favourites, and everyone else had to just deal with it (although we usually picked popular favourites of everyone) the day was all about us. Also, because we didn’t get to eat a lot of junk food, the birthday child also got a bag of chips of their favourite flavor. …funny how our traditions all seemed to gravitate around food.