The glow | Sunday Observer

The glow

Soon after sun-set on the Vesak Poya Day
Dressed in pristine white, the devotees young and old
Throng the temples to pay homage to the Buddha,
Lighting oil lamps, and offering sweet-scented flowers
One by one, the lanterns come to life
As the shroud of darkness thickens,
Their mellow glow begins to brighten.
Artistic creation of dexterous hands
Depict the colours of the Halo around the Blessed One,
The unity of a family with children around,
Exemplary episodes from Jataka stories,
The pure white lanterns
Evoke pensive thoughts about the nature of life,
Of its transiency, sorrowfulness and soullessness.
The lone candle in the middle
Illuminates the circular or the square,
The cylindrical or the octagonal.
Their mellow beauty is a solace to the eye,
It relaxes the mind,
Dispels the darkness of a troubled world,
Transports you to an ancient era,
To the day when Prince Siddhartha was born,
To the day when He attained Enlightenment
And to the day of His Parinirvana.
The Vesak lantern hung in our porch,
Protected from wind and rain,
Lasts the whole year through.
Brings to mind the hours of toil
Of two delicate hands,
Its glow wards off the loneliness of the heart
Reminds us of the affection of our last-born
Living in a far-off land. 

- Sunila Nanayakkara