Yeah! Summer is finally here….I think. Weather has been so crazy. At least that’s what I’m blaming for the slow growth of our vegetable garden this year. It can’t be operator error…can it? The weather will be a convenient excuse if any of the different vegetables doesn’t do well.
Speaking of “do well”….how do we define “do well” as it relates to our Obon festival this year? Hopefully, everyone has gotten the word that we will be having Obon once again this year. However, the scope will be somewhat limited due to a lack of manpower. There will be several familiar food and game booths missing this year. There are many reasons for this shortage of manpower, chief among them the reluctance by some to be in a crowded situation once again. This is totally understandable. One other reason though, is the lack of persons willing to step up to lead the different booths. My hope is that this is a one-time issue, enhanced by our emergence from the pandemic. But, we will see how the future shapes up.
So back to the issue of “do well”. As you may or may not know, the Obon festival is the largest, single fundraiser (excluding memberships) that the Betsuin does every year. So, in this sense, it is easy to understand “do well” as meaning that we successfully raise enough money to help the Betsuin continue to support our ministers as well as all of the other programs that we offer.
Additionally, I like to think that “do well” at Obon means that our Betsuin has come together for a common cause. It is that singular event that annually pulls the entire Sangha together where we get to reconnect with family and friends. We also get to connect with Japantown and the surrounding community.
However, I believe that the most important aspect of Obon is that it gives us an opportunity to remember family and friends who have passed away. Sometimes, we get so busy in our daily lives that we forget this simple thing. It is this last aspect of “do well” that is easiest for us all to achieve!