Dawn of Happiness, Wat Si Chum,
Here, as promised, are some photos of the Dawn of Happiness celebration, a touching evocation of good fortune, at dawn as advertised, that we went to our second day in Sukhothai. The first of one of the monks accepting alms, the second of the jovial head monk (I surmised), blessing the crowd to end the morning's events.
That same day later in the afternoon, I took my bike to the north side of the historical park and visited another ancient Wat, Wat Si Chum, and took the pictures below, including the understandably much photographed hand of the Buddha there. The respose of the hand coupled with the serenity apparent on the face of the Buddha came together and provoked a sense of deep gratitude in me. The emotional reaction to seeing some of these ancient Buddha images is hard to characterize, but "gratitude" comes close to describing what I feel. For what? For the trip, of course, for the opportunity to see how much human devotion is capable of, and for the beauty of the frailty of temporal things. Unlike the Buddha, I believe that space, time, and the relationships therein are all that we have; but love and compassion help us make the best we can of that, which is not an inconsiderable achievement.
More to follow. I am hopeless behind in posting, and could simply give you one or two images from the rest of my stay in Sukhothai, especially as I am now in Chiang Mai. There are a number of things I would like to cover, though, so have decided to catch up slowly.