In these birthday posts I usually try to focus on one thing about the birthday boy/girl that I appreciate. I think the thing that I appreciate the most about Raquel is her writing. Since there are a few hundred miles separating us, we aren't actively involved in each other's lives, but (thanks to the internet) we know each other through writing.
In particular I enjoy her haiku. I've never met anyone else with such a knack for creating deep, intricate feelings using only a very few words.
Raquel, your haiku are like a little bright spot in the world. You may never become a rich and famous writer, but you've added beauty to my world and I'm a different me now because of you. Thank you for sharing the beauty of your art with us.