We are in the middle of day three of four days that my wife has designated as part of her 50th birthday celebration. So far, the two evening parties have been great events. Each was very different, not just because the guests were different, but also because the locations and settings were very different.
A common theme has been togetherness. When you invite people who have to travel from one country to another, they must want to be with you together with everyone else invited. That was very evident when people were first introduced to each other and in no time seemed like old friends. It was more apparent last night when the party could have been washed away by rain that was destined as the props for a Noah’s Ark story. It rained. Then it stopped raining. Then it rained harder. Then stopped again. This went on for about 3 hours. But, it meant that everyone had to stay close to each other, either under the main tent, or on the little porch, or in the family room when rain drove down so hard that no option was left to stay dry.
Being in the Caribbean region gives us the luxury of having most events outdoor. In lush settings or not, we get nature’s bounty.
My wife and I were the common thread, knowing everyone invited. But, by 1am, a good few people had knotted some new common threads. Rain did not dampen spirits. Air Jamaica cancelling flights did not stop people arriving. Falling off ladders did not stop wheelchairs and crutches being used to get there. Not a morsel of food got touched by rain. Our clothes were mainly soaked by night’s end. Limbs and joints moved till they could move no more. Voices sang till they croaked. Children and much older adults danced as if all had been possessed by a good spirit. The band had energy to go on all night and the DJ had music to last all night, too.
It has not been a time for moderation, as far as friendliness and affection go. They were in excess. As farewells started today, we hoped for hurricanes or more rain to disrupt all flights. But, no way. So, smiles and hugs to show that we will be together again soon. Wherever we walked around Nassau, we bumped into each other. What is to be, will be.
Food is an integral part of these celebrations, and the glue that cements people together as they partake of meals togehter is very strong. It does not really matter what is the food, though dishes that please the eyes, palate and stomach do make a difference. Yes, conch or crayfish salad. Yes, fried grouper. Yes, stewed fish and grits. Yes, fresh fruit. Yes, guava duff. Yes, birthday cake. Enough?
So, onto event number three: home cooked Indian food. Can’t wait.