December 30 was such a perfect day. Cool. Milky sunlight. Breezy. My mother-in-law called and we had last minute discussions about the next day’s New Year’s Eve party at our house. She asked if it had been raining and I said, “No, the weather’s perfect.” I told her too that Speedy had finally put up the capiz lanterns on the mango tree in the garden and we would have the perfect garden party. The day was so beautiful that I took a break from the cooking for some outdoor photography.
Who could resist such blue skies?
In the garden, milky sunlight provided just the perfect lighting for these deep pink gumamela buds…
… that looked great too against a backdrop of white jasmine flowers.
At the other end of the garden, Speedy saw this orange mushroom that seemed to have sprouted overnight. Probably poisonous but who the heck cared? I wanted it as a photography subject anyway, not a cooking ingredient.
Even the potted tarragon seemed to be celebrating the perfect day and displayed tiny yellow flowers. It’s thriving and I’ll have lots and lots of tarragon before the summer, I thought.
By the end of the day, the beautiful sunset cast orange glows on the clouds and they looked magnificent against the still blue skies.
Perfect day. Perfect weather. And I was so sure that the next day would be just the same.
December 31, 10:30 a.m. I had the tables and chairs laid out in the garden. A buffet table was set up. Table cloths were brought out. Plates, spoons, forks and glasses were arranged on the tables. Happy with the set up, I went back to the kitchen.
Fifteen minutes later, it started to drizzle. It would stop, I told Speedy. The same thing happened on December 13 when we had a dinner party. It drizzled on and off during the day but by evening, the puddles of water had been absorbed by the grass and soil.
But it didn’t stop drizzling. In fact, the drizzle had turned to a light and steady rain. We had to remove the table clothes, plates and all. No garden party on New Year’s Eve. We moved everything indoors. It rained all day.
The funny thing is, a rainy New Year’s Eve should have made me happy. It had been my dearest wish for as long as I can remember. Rainy New Year’s Eve means lighting firecrackers outdoors would be impossible. Less noise. Less smoke. Perfect New Year’s Eve. But in all the years that I had been making that wish, it never happened. The noise and smoke had been staples of New Year’s Eve celebrations since I was a kid. The irony is that on the one New Year’s Eve when I didn’t want the rains to come and ruin my perfect garden party, that was when it rained so generously. And the even bigger irony is that the rains stopped a little before midnight.
My mother used to say that thoughts are powerful. That if you think of something hard and long enough, it could come true. I used to think she missed something with her logic. Thinking of something hard enough translates to a resolve and what makes something happen is the thought plus positive action borne out of the resolve.
But then I think of New Year’s Eve and wonder if my constant wishing for rain over the years had actually turned the wish into a reality. Starting this year, I will rephrase my wish and make it clearer — I want rains on New Year’s Eve but only if we’re not having a garden party.