On our last night at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB), we went for a walk, appreciating the beautiful evening sky. We were walking along the road, by the side of Shr Fu’s “Hall of No Words”, breathing in the pure air of this beautiful place, which we will miss back home. All of a sudden, a peahen just appeared from “nowhere”. Tagging behind were her four little baby peacocks, chirping happily away.
Three years ago, when I first saw pictures of CTTB and the peacocks, I made a vow to come here to receive the Three Refuges and Five Precepts, and also to see the peacocks, especially the white one. Now, three years later, I had achieved my objective. But, during my one month stay here, I had been wanting to see these little ones, but yet, could not find them.
Now this sight filled my heart with gratitude; it was as if Shr Fu knew my thoughts and had granted my wish to see these babies on my last night. To many people, it may be just a normal thing, nothing out of the ordinary, yet, for me, it meant a great deal. Why? Because back home we have no chance to see peacocks wandering about freely except in the Bird Park. I cannot explain why, but it brought a sense of joy each time I recall this experience and looking at these pictures, a sense of warmth just wells up in my heart.
See, aren’t they cute? In my eagerness to catch some precious photos of them, I hurried after them. The mother peahen, sensing this, hastened her pace, and I could hear the little ones chirping even louder, but this time, it was as though calling out to her, “Please wait for us.”
Realizing that I might be frightening them, I began to slow down my pace, but by then, the mother was quite disturbed. She flew onto the fence, leaving the babies on the ground, while they too tried to fly up.
I was so tempted to go forward and touch them, but contained my excitement and backed away, so as not to frighten them. Immediately, the mother flew back onto the ground, and as if nothing has happened, they all continued their evening walk.
Gingerly, I followed them, and in the next few minutes, they displayed their skills. I could never imagined that a peacock or peahen could fly so high, but believe me, this is what she did, flying up onto the tree, pecking at the leaves or berries or fruit. Higher and higher she went, flying from one branch onto another. What amazed me were the little ones. I heard the beautiful chirping sounds of what I thought were some other birds, who were flying around the branches of the tree at that time.
Seeing that only the white one was left alone down on the bench, I thought, “Oh dear, there it goes – alone again, always walking behind the rest. Is it because of its color? Don’t tell me that racism also exists among peacocks!” Before I could think further, this little white baby just flapped its wings and flew onto the branch of the tree. I then realized that the chirping sounds came from its siblings. Now again, they’re walking in a row behind their mother, following her footsteps. Maybe she is the youngest, I reckon, that is why she is always the slowest, but she is still part of her family.
This brings to my mind a thought. Just as we are all part of a big family, some of us may be slow in our cultivation, yet we still have faith that the Buddha, like our parent, will never desert us. We will walk the way that leads us to enlightenment. All we need to do is to follow him on the right path. With patience and courage, we will not be afraid to “fly high”. Wow, what a great sight they displayed. A little chuckle rose from my throat as I finally bade them farewell and thanked them for their little show, which was also a great lesson.
This experience was just so precious to me. I was like a child who had finally found a piece of candy. The energy of it was so endearing…and I felt like Shr Fu had given me a little farewell present, fulfilling my little wish!