Like last year, I decided to go vegetarian for one meal this Vesak Day, tho unlike last year, I decided to stay home for the meal, for various reasons.
The first was we were out yesterday for a series of hospital visits for my mother, including a long visit to the National Skin Centre for advice on some skin complaints she’s been having.
Two days out in a row could be stressful, if not for my octogenarian then certainly for me, especially when I expect there would be full house at every vegetarian restaurant I know.
And besides crowds, I’ve gone off Sophie as stated previously while the last time I was at Loving Hut with J and Battyboo, I had a bad stomach afterwards: not sure if it was just me or the food. So I was disinclined to go back so soon. Lastly with our family’s celebration of our May babies only last Sunday, May 23, at Lotus, that place was out too.
Our veggie lunch today was simple: steamed pumpkin cubes garnished with Japanese seaweed and fatt choy (or hair) lightly stir fried with zuchini strips, cabbage and special taugeh or bean sprouts — special because they are home sprouted, much more crunchy and fresh than what I get from Fairprice or Cold Storage.
Besides a veggie meal, I wanted to take two more steps to mark Vesak my way.
One, I bought some flowers for the altar although in previous years I had clung to my “go with the flow school” practice which meant that there could be flowers or no flowers, depending on whether Vesak co-incided with the days when there would be fresh flowers in the home.
Two, I would take mum to a temple, preferably Kong Meng San Phor Kark See off Upper Thomson Road since it’s the most accessible temple for her wobbly legs within my temple orbit.
Unfortunately, when we arrived at Kong Meng San after lunch, around 2.30pm, the temple was still choc a block with devotees and their cars. Some roads were closed; some normal entry points to the temple were also closed; traffic was re-directed. Ren san; ren hai!
Mum chickened out. I don’t blame her. The vast undulating grounds; the many flights of steps; the traffic and the crowds. She couldn’t handle it. She decided to go with the flow. I concurred. We clasped our palms from within the car and then left.
In any case, I had been there only on Tuesday after my Vicom visit.
Perhaps next year’s Vesak Day then. Or perhaps I will continue to go with the flow which means visiting when conditions are encouraging.