twenty-five

Last week, I turned 25. I've been anticipating this birthday for a while and I can't fully comprehend how it feels yet.

For my birthday, Marcus and I hiked to some hot springs (what a surprise…!) and we were so fortunate to have them all to ourselves. As the sun set behind the mountains, the stars peppered the dark sky and the big dipper emerged, perfectly framed by tall swaying trees above us. What a perfect place float to reflect on the years past and the infinite unknowns of what is to come.

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We camped near the hot springs, making a roaring fire and a steaming hot curry. By the light of the flickering fire, Marcus revealed a present he had worked on for the month before my birthday. A hand-bound book with 24 letters from friends. Obviously, I couldn’t keep it together. I sobbed and balled (scaring off bears and cougars) and read it from cover to cover. Honestly, it took me about 2 hours to read the whole book, taking breaks to clear my blurry eyes before starting the next letter. These letters were filled with memories, wishes, photos, creativity, and SO much love. A big thank you to everyone who got involved, and to Marcus for crafting and coordinating something so special. I will cherish it forever.

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Once we got back in town the next day, we took off our dirty hiking clothes and switched them out for some fancy dinner attire. I had booked a reservation at one of Nelson’s best and fanciest food spots. We sat on their covered and heated patio, which we had all to ourselves, and dined lavishly into the night.

To keep the festivities going, we took a day trip on the weekend across Kootenay Lake (on the world’s longest free ferry ride!) to Crawford Bay. We explore the area and with no clear agenda. Sometimes intuition really is the best tour guide.

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This past week was very special. With the constraints of COVID, I had time to sit on rocks, logs, and in pools heated by our planet's core. I had time to close my eyes and wonder at the world, the people I am so lucky to know, and what I hope to accomplish in this next year.

Now that “birthday week” is over, I want to say thank you for the emails, letters, phone calls, presents sent by mail, texts, and sweet wishes. I feel so loved.

I guess now it’s time to settle into this brief year of being 25.

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Kate (sister)
Kate (sister)
24 days ago

LOVE YOU

Allyson
Allyson
24 days ago

Now you’ve made me cry! What a beautiful post. xoxoxo

Peter N.
Peter N.
24 days ago

What a memorable 25th birthday, Julia, and beautifully told. That Marcus, he’s definitely a keeper! It’s hard to believe that 22 years have gone by since I took you in your stroller to see The Nutcracker ballet. Much love from someone who has done 81 laps around the sun!

Jeff Ferguson
Jeff Ferguson
24 days ago

What a rad (pandemic) birthday Julia! Which hot springs did you go to?

Jeff
Jeff
23 days ago
Reply to  Julia Pepler

Thought it looked like St. Leons from the photos, but haven’t been there in many years. Glad to hear they’re still accessible! Yes, would be great to see you if/when you make it up this way!

Roger
Roger
24 days ago

Thanks for sharing this tender, joyous account of your birthday week. I’ve re-read it several times, as it always brings you closer. Lots of love …