Tuesday, January 17, 2012
weekend reflection: Lunar/Chinese New Year
I have been reflecting this year. Traditionally, Chinese New Year is a time of reunion with family, of traditions. I have not celebrated this day for personal reasons. Twenty four years ago, on the second day of the Chinese New Year, my mum died from a terrible accident. She was only 60, and she died in the year of the dragon, which is this year. Then 18 years later, my dad died on her anniversary. I left home in 1975, and it is not that I have morphed into a non Chinese. This is the first year I am telling people why when you come to my house, it is not decorated with red and gold.
However, having written my book about the death of my son Andrew, I feel some sort of a release. I can move on.
Two days ago, I had to service my car, the workshop told me it would take one and half hours. I went for a long walk under our beautiful summer sun. Despite my wide brim hat, I was getting sun burnt on my shoulder. When I got back, they told me it would take another hour. I wasn't going to walk again, I went into this unpretentious Chinese eatery.
It was 2.30pm, there was only one client. I chose a bowl of Chinese white fungus Nashi pear dessert. It was served warm and refreshing. I sat there reading a book. The waitress left me alone as she could tell I didn't want to me disturbed. One hour had passed, the workshop had not rung me. I told the waitress I am going to check on my car, she said, "Come back if it is not fixed."
It still was not fixed, I went to the Asian grocery next door and bought a few items. I went back to the eatery. I was very hot by then. The waitress quietly came and brought a glass of Chinese tea.
That is what I thought the spirit of what Chinese New Year is, of hospitality.