It was Dec 1998. I was sitting down in the courtyard with my eyes shut. Tears poured down my eyes. These tears surprised me. My heart, that many of you say is made of steel, was melting. I realized they were tears of surrender rather than sadness or weakness. So, I let the tears flow.
I had entered the country (US) as a student in Sept 1997.
1.5 years had passed.
1.5 years of hard work… studying, working and researching without adequate rest or food.
1.5 years away from my home country, away from the love, care and warmth of family and friends.
1.5 years of uncertainty.
I had another 6 months ahead of me to graduate and find some stability..with a job, a home and some dollars.
That is where I found myself in Dec 1998. That winter, I had traveled across the country from cold West Lafayette, IN to warm Sacramento, CA. My best friends’ brother drove us to Concord, CA to see the Shiva Murugan Temple. I entered the temple, sat down in the courtyard, looked at our beloved Concord Murugan and let the tears flow.
I am not religious. However, that day, as I sat in the Concord temple courtyard, I found immense calm and incredible strength to tackle what lay ahead of me.
I think I might have said something that God really heard. Since that day in Dec 1999, I only found roads that lead ahead. I found ways to cross chasm. I found ways to open doors. I found the strength to climb mountains.
Many of you have told me that you love going to Concord Temple…because of friendly priests and serene atmosphere. I feel the same way.
My dear friends Solai Alagappan, Prabhu Venkatesh Subramanian, Uday Meyyappan, Sarav Narma, Palani Annamalai, Ganesh Sigamani have now started a big movement that will pave the way for a new temple in Concord which will be a place of gathering for generations to come.
As a way to start this BIG fundraising effort for temple construction, they are holding a fundraiser on Nov 18, 2012.
It is a fun fundraiser…a grand Diwali Light Music Concert.
Be a part of the Concord Temple movement. Buy tickets here.
What is your “special” Concord Temple story? What is your special place of worship? What are you doing to pass on your beliefs and culture to the next generation? What movement are you a part of?
What is that one life defining moment in a church, mosque, temple..or at an oceanside, seashore, hilltop…tell me when we meet next time.
I will see you at the Concord Temple fundraiser on Nov 18, 2012.