in this chun jie, also known as chinese lunar new year, the beginning of spring festival or xin chia, i found myself blanketed by the serenity of thousand red candle lights. within a temple in the old quarter of tangerang.
may I tell the real situation? instead the prays and contemplating activity had been made by the pilgrimages that give me a peaceful feeling, I then also surrounded by clouds of smoke. heat in the atmosphere as everybody light up the red candles and pray for the goddess kwan im, transliteration of avalokitesvara. but I managed to stand still. behind the wall.
all i remember just the goddess of mazu that i had visited almost a year ago in taipei, tainan and kaohsiung during my solo travel to ilha de Formosa or taiwan, republic of china. she’s my favourite goddess just like i adore st nicholas. both are the patrons for the seafarers.
and as my beloved dad was a navy to whom i always so proud of, and then nick also bears the same name, so anywhere in my destination, if i am able to visit—even i must admit that i am not a religious one—the churches of st nicholas or temple of the goddess mazu will be on my priority lists.
it’s just like i absorbed the line of kahlil gibran’s in his bestseller sand and foam; remembrance is a form of meeting.
I love to remember my dad and his presence whilst in these sacred places. so does about nick, whenever I go by my own. it’s kind of warm feeling, just like fresh air and i just need to take a deep breathe.
back to my latest experience regarding chun jie, it was a surprise when i stepped out from the temple, there’s a cart seller offers chinese bric-a-brac souvenir. this is not about genuine or fake materials, I just disbelief that I found a bracelet made from mini coins with chinese inscription just like nick and i bought in a military souvenir shop in pangong tso, ladakh!
pangong tso is a tranquil lake at the height of 4,350 meters above sea level on himalayan plateau, landlocked by india, pakistan, china and tibet.
i just take this experience with this cart souvenir as a good sign, as a traveller someday I will be back to Ladakh range and of course with nick beside me.
life sometimes full of signs that need to be solved. and all my pray at that chill night—errrr, without any rain drops, something unusual in chinese new year —goes to me, nick, families and our beloved in heaven. tan-ne yir rul tog tukh boltu ji. amen.