Imagine the delight. To come upon this fragrant wood. Oxfordshire, north of Reading after a full day driving. South to attend a visa interview in London on Thursday. Climbing aboard the train and tube and bus, walking on Oxford street with Selfridges to the right. All somewhat as in a dream.
The Buddha’s Birth is celebrated around this time of year. Although traditionally we look at May 8th as THE day we tend to be pragmatic and schedule on a week-end close to that date so families can come and join in. Gladly I was here today at Throssel and able to be part of the ceremony. I love to sing and there’s usually quite a bit of that during this particular event. The children are very much part of it all and receive a present at the end from the abbot. This year was no exception.
I was feeling a bit ho hum I must confess this morning. A combination of a few factors but mostly suffering the effects of a long drive yesterday up from West Wales where I’ve been for the past five days. Then something happened which made my day. At the end of the line of youngsters waiting to be given a present stood a two year old girl. Picture it. A huge hall, lots of strangers, lots of empty space to get lost in. All the children received a blue box which they were told was heavy. There were no more blue boxes left by the time it came to the small girl to receive her gift. She was last in line and there were two lotus blossoms left on the gift tray. Presents or decorations? Standing there alone before the imposing abbot the girl was given a huge lotus blossom. Gasp! She received it with dignity and then skipped and ran across the empty space back to her mother in obvious joy and pleasure. It was a moving moment and seeing her so obviously happy made my day. But then there were other moments after that.
Listening to the monk singing the ending Offertory, a solo piece, with clear bright heart.
Seeing the daffodils in the lane, flowering perfectly.
Reconnecting with the little family, the girl and her twin and their brother now all grown up brother aged five.
Meeting the brother of a chap soon to join the monastic community who said he thought the word hole in the name of the monastery (Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey) best referred to the hole in the sky where one rises up through spiritually. Nice thought.
Later this riff from a Beatles song….
There is a hole in the roof where the light
Stops my mind from wandering…
Then I ran out of steam. Should be something about looking up but nothing came to me.
Happy Wesak Day to all who visit here. Thanks little family for making my day and to ‘dad’ who is a regular and faithful reader.