Thursday, August 30, 2007

Flames afloat from India to Hawaii

I'm just sitting back down, turned the channel to PBS, and a photographer is enjoying his time in India. I envy him.

Tiny candle boats float down the River Ganges. Is this where the Japanese tradition of floating candles comes from? Possibly. Buddhism arrived in Japan from India via China. Wherever your faith is rooted, there is something ethereal about candles floating on water, drifting toward a larger place.

When it happens in Hawaii, as a remembrance of loved ones who have passed on, it transforms the environment. I would wonder, once again, how anything moves from India to a faraway place like Japan, except that the sight of the floating candles is so calming. A narcotic to the eyes, then to the mind and soul. And it's not just floating candles. Heck, curry comes from India. So do mynah birds (definitely) and mango (not sure).

I see what travels over mountains and oceans, and I am in awe every time. Migration is absolutely amazing.

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