This week’s WordPress photo assignment challenges us to share a wish.
Seokbul-Sa Temple, near Busan
I have chosen an image of the cheerfully optimistic and colourful prayer lanterns we saw so often suspended from the ceilings in the Buddhist temples of South Korea to illustrate our family’s wish, which will come as no surprise at all to regular readers of this blog.
We’d like my daughter Elinor, aka ‘Fanny, the Champion of the World‘, to be cancer-free by the time her twin boys become twelve. Then they, and we can truly celebrate their birthday, shadowed since they were eight by the cancer firstly of their father, then of their mother. It’s chemo-time at the moment. Not much fun, but all in a good cause.
It’s everything to ask. But surely neither greedy nor unreasonable.
We found ourselves in a cable car, rising slowly and stately, above the city to the forested mountain above Busan.
Once there, we explored the maze of forest trails. For the first time, my hard-won hangul came in handy. Only a few signposts were translated.
I wanted to visit the Buddhist hermitage of Seokbul-sa
If only I’d known how hard it would be, scrambling down stony forest hillside, then up again. Then down again. Then an endless hairpin-bended track.
It was worth it. Commanding views of the distant mountains; intimate, beautifully painted prayer rooms, and best of all, figures from Buddhist legend carved directly into the rock looming above the hermitage.
I was glad to have made the effort. But it was a very tough walk indeed.