Smiles in the Mountains

When I was in elementary school, I remember stepping off the school bus one sunny afternoon to find a new hill being built in our backyard. Being at the young age that I was, I could not wrap my mind around the idea of why we needed such a big hill right near the campfire pit. What could be hidden underneath this big mound of raw earth? “We buried a giant,” my dad told me. Born under the sign of Pisces, I was (and still am) extremely susceptible to a wild imagination and day dreaming, so just the thought of a giant buried in my backyard kept my mind buzzing for days. As I was walking through the fields in Xizhou just the other day, I noticed that one of the mountains looked like a sleeping giant, smiling down and reminding me of my childhood. I couldn’t help but stop and appreciate the beauty around me.

When living in an area for an extended amount of time, it’s easy to fall into a daily groove. Wake up. Drink coffee. Teach. Drink more coffee. Exercise. Dinner. The groove is essential to reach your comfort zone, especially in a new area. Yet, what is also essential is to break the routine and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. To go out and explore. I have to remind myself to step outside the centre and stretch my legs. One thing that is apart of my daily groove is an after-dinner walk around the neighborhood. Now that the spring winds are blowing in warmer weather, many of the locals are partaking the in same activity right after their last bowl of rice. The swallows are back to sing their spring time song. Hands held behind their back and feet slowly touching the ground allow the locals’ conversations to flow with ease and without loosing their breath.

It was during one of these walks the other day that the beauty surrounding me actually took my breath away. There laid the mountain giant with his eagle beak nose and slumber smile, bringing me back to the afternoon when I stepped off the bus and found one of his distant relatives buried in my backyard. Yellow canola flowers add splashes of sunshine throughout the citrine landscape as the sun begins to hide its face behind the mountain peaks. “God’s rays” jet down from openings in the sky and light up peculiar parts of my little village that I can now can call home.

Until next time.

Peace, love, and happiness.