Candle-lit temple, Amarapura © rheanna2
Sarya awoke from a fitful sleep plagued with bizarre imaginations of the pilgrimage that she would make today as she did every day. She was lying in a pool of sweat, too exhausted to move quite yet. She turned her head toward the bedroom window to witness the exchange of light—the night’s last stars for the day’s dim beginning—as she lay perfectly still, waking, pondering, putting her thoughts in order.
All was not well in her world, in her small village. There was much political unrest and fierce pressure to conform to the faith she was born to. Her dreams were fraught with faces as in a fisheye lens, zooming in at her, yelling and ugly with hate, teeth gnashing. Some faces were those of her family threatening to banish her from their lives for choosing another way.
But these were just dreams, a way for her mind and body to work out the pain of these troubled times and to reconcile the tinge of guilt she was brought up to feel at the slightest departure from the expectations of her people. Both the frequency and the intensity of the dreams were lessening as she attended to her spirit in the manner that her friend Angel had shown her.
Angel was a sweet soul, quiet, thoughtful and loving. She’d moved with her husband and two boys to Sarya’s village a little over a year ago and they’d met while working the fields. They’d become friends instantly, having so many things in common, and soon Sarya was accompanying Angel once a week and then every day to a glorious temple of a place, a cavern of color, of greens and rosewood and ebony and creams, all muted, all hushed and glowing, soft and yellow.
In that atmosphere of warmth and love, amongst the delicate, tinkling-bell sounds and the low hum of others of like mind sharing their innermost prayers, Sarya learned to relax and open herself, to offer up her cares in return for peace. It was an inner peace so deep, so rich, that every cell in her body vibrated with renewed life so that she emanated a nearly palpable joy. In the throb and vibe of healing, she experienced a connectedness with all people and a knowing that in her healing was their healing as well.
Sarya slipped out of bed and hurried to ready herself to meet Angel, careful not to wake her husband and children. The sun would not be up long before she’d be back to care for them and go with her husband to the fields to work. Now was her time to continue her soul’s pilgrimage to ultimate healing and peace, to spiritual enlightenment. She tip-toed downstairs and out the front door, closing it quietly behind her.
Across the way, under a street lamp flickering between night and day, was Angel, waiting. Sarya ran to her and the two embraced warmly, briefly, and went on their way hurriedly, not speaking, just smiling, to the town adjacent to their little village, just a few minutes away. Once there, they walked a quarter of the way down the main street and up the grand, stone steps to the glowing cavern.
Excitement brewed within both Sarya and Angel as they entered through the enormous archway and then through the heavy wood and metal doors. They left their shoes on the mat just inside the door and reverently approached the alter. They bowed their holy greeting and placed their orders—a double Venti Latte and a Grande Caramel Macchiato. They bowed again as they received their change, and slowly, quietly made their way to a cozy couch and coffee table area to commune with the other Starbucks believers.
Thank you, N : )
Candle-lit temple, Amarapura at http://flickr.com/photos/rheanna2/2073385158/in/set-72157603329099317/ from Rheanna2’s Flickr photo stash at http://flickr.com/photos/rheanna2/. Again, I loved the work and I urge the photo enthusiasts among you to take a look.
Missalister’s “Double redemption,” copyright © 2009, was spun off the Sunday Scribblings prompt “#146 – Pilgrimage.” Click here for more on prompt #146 from other Sunday Scribblings participants.