What images does “relic” conjure for you? A well-worn piece of blue beach glass, the faded pencil markings from a high-school journal, or the curmudgeonly character from the CBC television series, The Beachcombers?
This week’s photo challenge – relic is a convenient challenge for me. Few days ago I visited one of the ancient capitals of Thailand and I got photos that proves its existence and antiquity. My Ayuthaya tour is my entry for this week’s photo challenge.
Ayutthaya or Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, is the capital of Ayutthaya province in Thailand. It is located in the valley of the Chao Phraya River, and it was founded in 1350 by King U Thong, who went there to escape a smallpox outbreak in Lop Buri and proclaimed it the capital of his kingdom, often referred to as the Ayutthaya kingdom or Siam. Ayutthaya became the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai. (wikipedia)
How to get to Ayuthaya: (based on our travel)
Go to Victory Monument, take the van that goes to Ayuthaya and tell the van driver to drop you off at the van terminal. Get a tuktuk ride, who usually charge you 200baht/hour tour but eventually gives you 700 baht for 5 hour tour around the city and temples. (We were three when we went for a tour so the price was not bad.) You will pay an entrance fee to some temples and in floating markets but some temples are free.
Family Tradition Lives On
My grandfather was a devoted Catholic, a regular church-goer, a kind man but sometimes hot-tempered one. He used to plan a yearly Novena for his devotion to the Holy Cross at the same time a feast and gathering for the family. When he passed away the annual activity had to stop too for no one in the family could provide time and take responsibility of the expenses to continue the Novena and get-together. I wanted to do it but I was financially incapable, too young, unemployed and I need to finish my degree that time. The only thing I was able was to promise that when the right time comes I will continue what he’d started.
On his 16 death anniversary, I think that the long-awaited time has come and it’s only right to fulfill my promise. I know it took me so long to realize it but I know too that he’d understand me, and God knows how I am dreaming and planning of implementing the event even I’m away from home. I asked my mom over the phone if she could help me organize the daily Novena at home as well as the party when the Ten Days of Prayer conclude. Invite all the relatives who used to pray with us and visit us for the devotion and carry on the family tradition. So blessed that my mom is more than willing to do the task. She even cried when I offered to finance the activity for she’s been thinking about it too however she is financially incapable of doing it. She’s just glad that one of her children cared about the tradition that my grandfather left to us.
I remember when I was a kid, my grandparents and their friends pray in ten days. My relatives from distant provinces would come and celebrate too. On the last day, a big feast will be held where neighbors, relatives, and friends join together in a holy mass in our small and old chapel, then food and drinks were offered after the prayer. They can sing or dance with live band played by some talented friends of my grandpa. Yes, I still have vivid recollections of my grandparents dancing to Tango and Cha-cha among their friends who brought their bass, ukulele and guitars. It was a joy watching them with genuine laughter and happy faces and I treasure those memories. I want my daughter to experience the same joy of having a happy and prayerful family so I want to bring it back and see my relatives and neighbors pray, sing, dance and eat together again.
Today is the first day of the Nine Days of Prayer to the Holy Cross. The prayer culminates on the 20th of July and I am so looking forward to see my folks gather once again after a very long time.
I am very thankful that God bless me so much determination, sound mind and body so that I can carry on what my late grandfather had started.
Lord, when I look for a companion and support in my plans, you are always there, guiding my every decision. You help me make some things to happen – this plan to happen. Thank you for everything and being everything to me. Amen.