Sunday, October 07, 2007

A Family-centric Release Life Outing

Seizing upon the concurrent presence of our three children here in Tampa this weekend (the fourth is in Florida too but away at Gainesville), we decided to organize a family-oriented Release Life activity at the behest of Yu Huei. The venue: Veteran Memorial Park by the Tampa Bypass.

We knew from our last visit there that the Park opens at 10.00am. So we timed our visit accordingly. We first bought five kinds of small animals (minnows, juvenile shrimps, medium-sized fish, crickets, and earthworms) from a nearby fish and tackle shop. Before that wify and Yu Huei led the sutra chanting in the shop as a blessing to all sentient lives therein. Yu Huei also offered an apology to those remaining behind due to the limited capacity of our release effort.

Arriving at the Park, wify first lowered the fish and shrimps contained in three plastic pails into the stream. They soon swam away, perhaps acclimatizing to the realm of nature free from captivity. Next the earthworms were delivered into shallow hand-dug pits around the root region of several trees on the river bank. The rain in the past few days has softened the soil enough for easy digging. Once released, the earthworms were seen slithering bubbly about, seemingly overjoyed at the embrace of Mother Earth.

Wify seemed to be emerging from the stream, a spade in hand, while remaining dry ...
Wify releasing the earthworms while Yu Huei was delivering the blessed water, with the two sisters watching from a safe distance, mindful of the wriggly critters.

The last, but not the least, to taste freedom were the crickets when the paper bags containing and confining them were unstapled. Thus concluded a simple and meaningful family-based Release Life activity, on a sunny morning.

We then adjourned to lunch at a Thai Buddhist Temple at Palms River Drive, located at a tree-lined picturesque site next to the Tampa Bypass. It was breezy, the wind and the tree shade at the open-air picnic tables combining to engender a comfortable outdoor eating experience. But CY, long used to the low humidity that characterizes the Pacific NorthWest (Oregon to be more specific), could not wait to get home or a shopping mall to savor the cool comfort of air-conditioning. In her words, it was suffocating. Guess she still has a long way to go in taming the mind so as not be influenced by the external environment.

The wind-perturbed waves gently lapping against the low river bank next to our table ...
The sibling ready to partake of the lunch offering, momentarily disregarding the high humidity as evident from the flashy smiles ...

Mom and son standing erect next to the portrait of the Buddha ...

1 comment:

Release Lives said...

Great article, clear and well explain what we did today.

it was a very meaningful event today and thank you to everyone in the Lee family to join this family release lives activity.


Amitofo. Beekhoon sister looks likes very cool with that picture....look like she is on to her Mission..

the mission of release lives.