Saturday, August 06, 2005

In which Hiss and I visit the fountain of forgiveness and launch a krathong

The day dawned bright clear so, having nothing more pressing to do, Hiss and I set off to explore the grounds of the House of Serpents. I had been told that there was a fountain of forgiveness and I was interested to see what it was like. Not because I had anybody or anything to forgive, I didn’t think, but because this fountain was very old and was reputed to have healing properties. I knew it was quite a way away so I took some refreshment for myself. I regret to say that I didn’t pack anything for Hiss as I guessed (quite correctly as it happened) that he would be able to feed himself on the frogs near the fountain.
I had been told to follow a well-worn path through the woodlands to get to the fountain as it was a popular place and that I would have no difficulty recognising it from all the votive offerings hanging in the trees.
When I got to the fountain I sat down in the shade of a willow tree while Hiss went off to find a frog or two, ate my packed lunch and thought about things. I allowed myself to drift into a sun-warmed doze. I saw myself on a darkened beach launching my krathong onto the waves. Launching a krathong on moving water is a buddhist idea. You make a krathong from a cross-section from a banana tree, attach flowers, foliage, one candle and three incense sticks. You light the incense and candles, place it on the water (stream or river) and push it off and it takes away all the bad things that have happened to you during the course of the year. I decided I would make a krathong and would put my letter of forgiveness on it and launch it on the little stream that flowed away from the fountain of forgiveness.
Having thus decided, I returned to my room in the House of Serpents to write my letter. Hiss confirmed that what I was about to do was a good idea and asked if he could add his bit in a PS at the end. He was feeling a bit guilty about the number of frogs he’d consumed recently. I waited until dusk had fallen to return to the fountain to light my incense and candle and send my krathong on its way. I watched it drift away until my eyes hurt with straining to see the ever diminishing flame in the darkness. Eventually all that was left was a faint aroma from the incense sticks.
I made my way in peace back to the House of Serpents.


At 8:57 AM, Blogger Anita Marie Moscoso said...

What good advice! I think I'm going to give this a try myself!

Anita Marie

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Karen said...

What a beautiful tradition! I'm glad that hiss also repented...

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Leonie Bryant said...

What a lovely thing to do. I have a practice of allowing my strong feelings to flow off down into a river. However, your ritual of building a krathong with incense and candles and putting into the water is beautifully symbolic.

At 4:58 AM, Blogger Heather Blakey said...

This is just stunning Carol and the ritual is to die for. In Australia we do not have nearly enough rituals to cement our lives with. Of course, we can look and take one's like this. Lovely!


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