I always tell my wife, I don't need celebration of my birthday, especially present!
She used to buy me "Aloha -Shirts" or necktie or something I use and birthday cake at my birthday. But now, I can bake cake and I have enough shirts. I seldom wear tie. I could buy what I need. Especially since my children were born, my family has been great gifts.
So my idea for my birthday is not to receive presents but try to give presents to others. That's I want to do.
Yesterday was my birthday. I am now 43 years old.
I knew my birthday and Bon Dance at Kapaa Jodo would be the same day, but I actually forgot it because I was so busy. But one thing for sure was, I was very happy to help making Sushi for our sister temple.
Making lots of sushi is such a busy job. But because I can be so busy, I can forget all the worries and regrets in the past. Yesterday, I was fully enjoy the present moments of making Sushi, taking videos and later, dancing.
To my biggest surprise, some dancers said to me "Happy Birthday!" I wondered how on earth they knew my birthday? Later, I found out......this was a part of gifts from my wife. She did sew the sign of my birthday to my back of the happi-coat and made me wear it without showing me the back of the happi. When I realized it, I felt so embarrassed. At the same time, I realized I was lucky to have someone who think of me.
Today is, of course, not my birthday anymore. But for me, every day, each moment is like my birthday. I realize I am very happy. That's why I want to help others to be happy. I'll be very happy helping making Sushi this afternoon.
By the way, the age 43 is very meaningful for Jodo Shu followers because Master Honen founded Jodo Shu shool at the age of 43 in 1175. Of course, I am never like our Master, but I have now same feeling with Master Honen to wish for everybody's happiness.