The sun never mentions her own birthday, what with being the center of so many others. So this will be a surprise.
The field is here, rolling in with all her wheat, corn, beans, and clover obediently moving in tidy rows, groomed and well-behaved.
The prairie is gathering, off to the back. The goldenrod is gussied up with bumble finery. The sunflowers are in a cluster, gossiping about how the finches gossip all day. The coneflower and aster hang about in small groups, swaying back and forth trying to eavesdrop.
The flower garden is noisily assembling, though the zinnias and cosmos keep getting distracted by dragonflies and also the hummingbird moths they haven’t seen in so long.
The lavender hears the ruckus and bursts into a chorus of velvety hallelujahs, which sets off a riot of sharp-edged cicadas, who no one claims to have invited, but what can you do.
The forest sighs deeply, content to be a soft-shouldered onlooker, happy in her introversion. Small murmurs puff lightly from the morels, and the ghost pipes strain to see from their impossibly emerald moss tufts under the mayapple skirts.
The swamp, always last to arrive, is leaning against the fat, ruckled logs that invited them and who are never bothered that everyone thinks it’s the swamp supporting the logs rather than the other way round.
The clever bullfrogs found cool, wide rocks, upon which they perch, relaxing in the sun as their babies play tag with the turtles in the pond.
Two white oaks carry in branchloads of turkey buzzards, song sparrows, bracken, and a shy raccoon new to the area. They all settle in next to the wild cherry tree, who is tolerating a ruckus of woodpeckers.
The sandhill cranes are tossing corn tassels and dancing, the Canada Geese have bellied up to the bar, talking over one another, and the monarch butterflies flutter an outstretched proboscis greeting to each and every flower.
Even the moon—always spread thin corraling wild stars– has poked her head in to surprise the sun on this special day.
And as every leaf, ladybug, and cricket chatter and rustle, the sun slides up quietly to find all of her friends excited to greet her. When she tickles the river making the waterfall laugh they all look up, awestruck, the miracle still miraculous.