I wonder what it’s like to be 90 – to be at the cusp of one’s 10th decade. What would it be like seeing your children and grandchildren and greatgrandchildren all gathered together – your own little flock, mirroring discrete fragments of you, in their eyes or nose or hair, or the way they stand or smile, or they way they regard life? You probably won’t be aware of these resemblances: others may be more aware of them than you. After all, we don’t normally see these aspects of ourselves, even in the mirror. Endearing facial mannerisms — those little tics like sticking out one’s tongue from a corner of one’s mouth during concentrated activity — need other people to point them out to us. And how would it be to have all these diverse reproductions of their original (you) set up a kabuki-esque whodunnit that highlights all the amusing tales you’ve ever told them about your life and your adventures? Would you have as much fun as the cast (your grandchildren and greatgrandchildren) had writing and refining the script, choosing their own roles, staging and rehearsing in one day (the day of the performance), and rummaging for costumes (a varied lot – from kimonos and hakama, to a monk’s robe and “tonsure,” to deerstalker hats, pipes, and tweed overcoats)? If it were me, I most certainly would. This was certainly the most entertaining version of “This Is Your Life” that I’ve seen.
To have children and grandchildren who share your love for adventure and travel, who appreciate exotic places and their culture, and most especially their food, is most rewarding. To have an appreciation of unfamiliar foods and to love experimenting with them are, I think, among the best legacies one can pass on. To have one’s progeny’s offspring, every single one of them, preparing a special dish make one’s 90th even more extraordinary — especially so when the partakers are a motley assembly of vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores.
For this rarest of events and to be present in it; to share in the enjoyment and the love and warm affection generated within this little flock; for being alive to enjoy this extra special occasion; and for the spectacular sunset that graced the evening – I am truly grateful.