The 26th of July
This date is special because it is my birthday. Over the years, when the number 26 pops up, there is a warm feeling, almost an ownership of this number, or at least an association. In life, there is much to celebrate. And to be grateful for. Just being alive is miraculous and a blessing. On one’s birthday, these feelings come to the fore. Celebrating birthdays was more a social norm. Now, I just relish the thought that this day is personal to me.
Today I have taken the day off to have some time to myself. I had intended to watch a movie as a not-so-usual way of spending time on a Thursday afternoon. As I was going out, I thought MG showed an expression she would like to go along. I decided to take her for a car ride instead. Driving aimlessly, the past year came flashing back, some in vivid colours, some in hues of varying emotions, while some have taken a forgotten shade of warm grey.
Siti prepared two red eggs this morning. These eggs and the ang pow from my mother come with all the good intentions of tradition and family. I am filled with a sudden flush of gratitude. My birthday celebrations had started last Sunday with the owner of Vis-a-Vis restaurant cooking for 17 people, mostly friends I know from collecting art and from work. We had two tables in the hall to accommodate all the guests. On Tuesday, I had more friends over for dinner.
Last night, I felt really blessed that all the favourite people in my life were all around to dine with me and to welcome my birthday at midnight. Tonight, my best friend will cook my favourite dishes along with my favourite dessert. It will be a birthday dinner with my mother, Siti and three friends, one visiting from China. As the day progressed, I saw how it was turning into an easy, happy day. In many ways, this is a magical day. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you…