【明報專訊】At some point in your thirties, you are likely to find yourself juggling milk bottles, wedding invitations and funeral arrangements all at once. The coincidence of thrill, hope and grief as a result is not unlike the alignment of planets that brings about the solar and lunar eclipses. It reveals an unfamiliar aspect of life that is both humbling and empowering, both soothing (安慰的) and taxing (費勁的).
I do not hold a rosy illusion of a married life, but I am often touched by the chances and effort that hold friendships and relationships together over the relentless challenge of time. While weddings are notorious for their extravagance and hassles, the good ones are thoughtful, personal and sincere — often the results of the hard work of the couple's close friends who are able to work their personalities into the designs and details of the occasion. When managed well, wedding preparation is a vivid celebration of the relationship itself.
At about the same phase of your life, small creatures make their entrance into the world. These adorable creatures possess the ability to scream, kick and throw up at an alarming capacity. Your best friends, once the centre of social circles, now become zombie-moms-and-dads on a 24-hour-treadmill, rotating their day jobs and childcare responsibilities. Instead of helping them with their party outfits, you now help juggling milk bottles, diapers and occasional shopping duties, secretly being proud of your new role as a resourceful nanny. Most importantly, you cannot help but be awed by the little ones — what havoc they are capable to wreak by just lifting their fingers!
Anyone newly acquainted with the wonders of a newborn is simultaneously given a virtual high-resolution lens to pick up signs of age, and perhaps, death. Such is the unspoken rule of life. Suddenly, you notice that the people who have seen you through your teens, given you wise advice and made timely jokes to distract your parents when you got away with your mischief are now frequent visitors to the hospital. They can no longer entertain your spontaneous proposal of adventures, or bail you out of troubles. Before you can realise the long overdue dinner plans with them, you are notified of their funerals. You wake-surf along the legacy of the people you loved, missing them just by a split second.
And such is my realisation in my thirties.
Mona C. has a strong appetite for stories. Feed her enough.