Monday, February 16, 2009

The Day Breaks Open Wide

The bells of the Immanuel Cathedral chime 5 times. The fan whirs overhead in the half light of early morning. 5 am.

The call to prayer sounds from a nearby minaret, and another day in Cochin begins. The call reaches out to the Muslims of the city - a call to community, to duty and to surrender. Facing the Kaaba, they begin their morning prayers.

Hindus are placing kumkum on foreheads and offering fresh jasmine blossoms to their gods in puja for the day that lies ahead. Each day a struggle, and a blessing.

Pictures of the Sacred Heart in flashy flourescent painted on the back a truck. The words "Baby Jesus" emblassoned on the front in a cursive flourish. A Christian truck driver lights a stick of incense, places it on the dashboard shrine and offers up a quick prayer for the trip ahead. The truck horn loud and long warns smaller vehicles of its approach.

This is how Cochin begins its day. Every day. How many of us are so grateful to wake each morning?

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