Who even missed the moon on a night like this? The warm orange night sky of the city was dotted with a million lanterns all floating up, bright specks of gold, silver and crimson, reaching the distant heavens.
On reaching the stars, they would, hopefully, make each wish come true.
I wished upon the biggest, brightest lantern I saw at the shrine and walked away, for I had no time to watch its ascent. As I wished, the lantern glowed a deep red and pulsed with an almost palpable energy.
The next morning I went back to offer joss sticks for all the blessings I had received.
In the light of day, my lantern was still moored there, anchored safely to its spot.
It hadn’t ascended. It hadn’t been necessary for the heavens to intervene.
For my luminous hope had a light of its own and the universe could see and hear me and claim me as its own.
Even while I stand, rooted firmly in the earth.
Thank you TJ Paris for the photograph!