For the past couple of months, I’ve been posting a “Sunday Photo” series on Wake Up and Laugh!.
I thought there may be some people over here who would enjoy this one…
Yes, another Mireuk (Future) Buddha, and one with a very interesting story, but I’ve decided to save that for another time, and take a personal approach to this one. I hope no one minds!
(And I realize that this anti-climatic intro just may be contrary to a certain Great Vow by creating a degree of suffering instead of saving anyone from it, so if you really do want to know the story surrounding the Buddha, and can’t find it on Google, let me know, I could add it in the comments, or it would make a nice little Future Post… (Future Buddha… get it?)😉 )
This Wednesday is Chuseok in Korea, marked on the lunar calendar by the Harvest Moon. I thought I should find a photo taken on the Harvest Moon at a temple, but as I looked back through the five and a half years I’ve spent in Korea, I spent my first Chuseok on a three-day whirlwind tour of Beijing, my second one on a visa-run to Japan, and the last one visiting my family in Canada. That leaves us with the third and fourth. In 2007, I visited a friend’s family on the south coast and visited a couple of beautiful temples the day before Chuseok, then bused back to Seoul, and spent Chuseok not at a temple, but with friends at Outback Steakhouse… sorry. This leaves 2008, my first Chuseok with EunBong, my wife (fiancée at the time), and her parents. If I weave my words the right way, it could be threaded to this photo…
If we go back to the first Sunday Photo, taken at Hanmaum, on the ride to the temple that evening, I noticed a hermitage high up on the edge of a cliff, just a few km from Hanmaum. Not long after, EunBong and I made our way up to check it out. In a small shrine we saw this stone carving that poked its way up from a hole in the floor, as though the shrine were built around it. We both had a really great feeling with this Buddha and spent quite a long time sitting with it, walking around it, and even (when no one was looking) wrapping our arms around its shoulders, giving it a hug. What we didn’t realize at the time, is that it wasn’t just the two of us.
Although we’d be anticipating Fina’s conception, EunBong, lighting incense in this photo, had already been carrying her for about three weeks. Another three weeks later, at 7am on Chuseok morning, EunBong woke me up to tell me the news.
Under normal Korean circumstance, we should have been on our way to EunBong’s father’s house, but since we were getting married it wasn’t appropriate to do the ceremony for the departed. So, her parents were getting ready to head over to my place. And, no, it wasn’t a shotgun wedding (we just jumped the gun, I guess…) but EunBong was still a bit nervous to tell her parents. She made me call her dad, which went fine, and then she took a few deep breaths and called her mom.
After stalling for a bit, she finally let it out. Her mom, who was still preparing the food for that day’s feast was just silent… ……..So silent EunBong was worried she’d dropped dead! Finally, she cleared her throat and asked, “Eum’shik gah’jeo’gah, ah’nim mar’eo?” (“Anyway, do you still want me to bring food, or not?”)