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Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Cleansing Spring

As I plunged myself into the sacred pool I thought to myself: how did I come here? 

Of course, I knew how I came there. The 2 hours drive from Denpasar, me and my friends in the car chatting happily, the near-lost experience (so happy I got GPS!), the rain that pours. I remember the slippery steps and how I wrap long cloth around me to start bathing. Some uses shirt to bathe in and cloth as skirt, but alas I did not bring change, thus the old-fashioned bathing dress method should be applied. 

There were 3 pools with a number of spouts that gushed out clear spring water. We started from the largest pool first. I carefully enter the pool, the water was pleasantly cold but not too chilling. It was the cold water that jolt my mind. How do I get here? Offerings higgledy piggledy placed on the altar where the row of spouts are, the flowers that adorn the offerings and tumbled into the pool, the long incense stick that burn, even the koi fishes that swam in the pool, these were all surreal to me.

My friend nudged me to go forward and place the offerings, since that was my first time coming there and I will be away soon for quite a while. I placed the offering and say a little prayer, and wash my face and head from the clear spring water that gushed out strongly from the spot. A man's face float in my mind. My dearest fiance. That was how I got there. That was the reason why I was there.

The spring at Tirta Empul Temple is said to have healing and purification effect. I asked my friends to accompany me there to cleaned myself before my upcoming marriage and trip to the other side of the earth. But it did more than that. Each stop I made on the spouts, praying and washing my face and head, each stop cleanse me and lighten my soul. I was a wreck of nerve the last months, trying to put on a brave and happy face when inside I was trembling and nervous: so worried on travelling alone to the other side of the world and staying there for good, and so worried if I can have a good marriage and keep my husband happy. He deserves to be happy. 

The water calmed me down. As I bathe from spout to spout my thoughts become clearer and less jumbled. I remember the unique way we met and fell in love. Surely it's God's will? The delay we experience, the hardship we endure, it cease to matter. It was His doing, not to separate us from one another but to strengthen ourselves so we are ready for one another. I can feel the knots untangling in me. I can feel the burden dissolve, like soot over water. As I emerge from the last pool, I said to myself: I am ready now.

We prayed together afterwards, and feasted on the offering we brought once we finished praying. The laughter was gay, the smiles were genuine, but something change in me. At home my mom complement how serene and calm I looked, and beautifully aglow. It's only natural, I think. I just got my faith and strength restored, and my worriness and fear banished. 

I know I had it easy. My deep root in culture/religion allows me to have faith in things, and thus believe the impossible could happen. It allows me to be humble and accepting. It gives me strength because I know He will never leave me and there are ways to make me closer to Him. My Fiance, the ever curious, asked me once whether I can positively sure I really got connected or was I merely delusioning. Who knows? What I do know is how good it was to trust something. Like a tired toddler needed a shoulder to rest on after an extremely exhausting day, I need my faith to rest on, to believe I am sheltered and will be protected from harm. I am by no mean a coward, but it will be foolish to keep fighting without rest, or without hope. Even a hard up trooper will need that. I am grateful that I got it easy. 

And soon, really soon I will be with the man I love most. No question about it. It feels right, it sounds right, it is right. You see, I have faith in us too. It helps. A lot.

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