Looking back this year: the sights and sounds captured, the trials, the successes and most importantly the failures felt transports me back to a special memory of my early childhood instantly.
Crisp memory surfaces, of the small crevice in a wall at home lit spectacularly and immaculately clean;
where mom kept the tiny idols of worship and photos of a select few deities.
The air was sweet-smelling by the incense sticks. The atmosphere was more than magical.
In the Indian tradition a open flame fueled by cooking oil was lit; this particular day marked some festival: the name I could never recall being too young to register.
In veneration beyond religious she had presented a tiny mixture; composed entirely of bits of neem, beaten rice and pieces of jaggery with a sprinkle of sugar maybe.
Without waiting for my curiosity to question she had explained to me the profound significance of this mixture:
life being such that we are bound to experience bitterness and sweetness in varying measures; the trick being to consume them all the same, without a frown or regret enjoying the majesty that is life: a mixture divers and divine even.
Framed against this background of glorious golden lights and venerated colors; she had delivered a lesson that will guide my impressionable mind through trials and tribulations many.
Reaching as high as my small height would allow me I had tasted the mixture with my eyes first. The fresh green bitterness of the neem and the pleasant sweetness of the rest left me dazed and deeply reflective ever since.
The influence this particular memory had on me surpasses any that I have experienced in my travails across teachings religious or otherwise.
It gives me a sense of heightened joy to be able to share this here today.
And hope it serves you well through your endeavors as it most certainly does with me.
Have a great many magical years ahead.
Cheers for memories 🙂 🙂