When he heard that Bing and I both were born in the year of the monkey, Uncle George took this Chinese ink painting off his wall and handed it to us as an engagement present. The Wong side of the family had gathered that Christmas 1982 at George and May’s Presidio home and our upcoming wedding was the favorite topic of discussion. “Double monkeys – that’s good luck,” said Uncle George, explaining that this painting was from a series of Chinese new years animals by one of his insurance clients. Among the many thoughtful presents we received, this painting of two monkeys united, hugging each other, has remained a favorite of mine, always hanging in our home.
This rainy day has ushered in Chinese New Year 4710, the year of the dragon. Although it is not my year, dragon years are considered especially auspicious for everyone. For instance, dragon years are good for making new relationships, launching new businesses, and undertaking new enterprises; you could say a dragon year is the year of the start-up. Kudos to any mother who has a baby boy born in the year of the dragon. For matters both personal and professional, a dragon year is supposed to be a “go-go” year.
This Chinese new years was for me the year of the non-celebration. No hand-made invitations to a nine-course dinner for 10 which took three days to prepare. Do left-over “Asian” spareribs count? (I should think so – they were really good!) No Chinese new years cards, either. It seems that Akemi just left home from the holiday break and I wasn’t even thinking about putting her lai see red envelope in the mail for her to get it in time. Oh, well, I can take it to her when I visit in a few weeks for her orchestra concert.
This year I enjoyed phone calls and e-mail exchanges with a few family members and friends. Here’s to a good year of health, happiness, and prosperity for us all. Double-hugs to other monkeys, and if you’re tackling a new endeavor, “go-go”!