5 Feb 2020 (Day 12 of Lunar New Year)
Each week day morning for the past 30 odd years, a single question filled me with dread. And that is, “Will I be able to get a taxi to school on time?”
And I cannot even describe the existential crisis that awaited me on rainy days.
Pre-Grab App mornings, my senses were attuned to only ONE thing. And that is, the automated response from the taxi company handling my booking.
I was all dead to morning birdsongs as my whole being was focused on listening for the robotic voice to tell me the car number of the taxi assigned to me.
With Grab App, my eyes were glued to the iphone screen, tracking the rush hour cab rates & availability, while trying not to hyperventilate. Some days I felt as if my heart would just stop and I might black out on my way to the cab.
With so much going on in my mornings, I never really noticed the Sun.
If I made it to school on time for the morning assembly, my thoughts would be on whether I could log onto the digital attendance marking platform, or whether a student had brought the letter of excuse or medical certificate after the umpteenth reminder. And if I still couldn’t log on by then, I needed to update the support staff asap about the attendance. Missing the cut-off time would raise questions about my efficiency or duty of care as a teacher.
The Sun’s warmth on those mornings felt like a thousand needles poking on my neck and back.
But eversince I stopped working full time, I started noticing how each morning, the Sun reveals his gentle presence in my home bit by bit, setting my flat aglow with gold while doing so.
A shaft of light against the wardrobe, a set of gold rectangles on the floor and speckled shimmers on a cat’s fur all announce the Sun’s arrival!
This morning, a friend gave me a ride to the temple on his way to work in town. The Lunar New Year festivities will be ending in a few days’ time. And while our lives and plans are affected negatively by the novel corona virus, I thought I should at least use some of my dearly bought time to dedicate prayers.
After I got off my friend’s car, I didn’t have to rush for my appointment with God. I was able to sit on one of the benches along NAFA Campus and steady my legs before making my way to a vegetarian breakfast and then for prayers across the street.
I think I’ve spent the best years of my youth not seeing the Sun because I was trying to hold down a job.
So with whatever years I still have, I hope to be able to keep my meetings with the Sun and other natural elements. And it’s great that for most of these appointments, there’s no need to take a cab.