I was going to do all of my China posts in an chronological, organized fashion but that’s not really how I roll 😉 I felt inspired while going for a walk in the rain in Huang Shan (Yellow Mountain) so sit back and enjoy as I share some of China’s beauty with you.
It was pouring. The windows of our hotel room were covered with hundreds of clear droplets. The room was very comfortable but I was restless and the beautiful lake beckoned. So with an umbrella and flip flops I ventured out. Often in quiet moments my mind wanders to the big questions in life. What is my purpose? What should I be doing? Restless in mind and body.
Then I saw this sign:
I was struck by the poetry. In Canada a sign might say ‘beware’ or ‘caution’.
Cherish water and treasure you[r] life. My philosophical itch was scratched. What an appropriate message.
Cherish water. I don’t need to tell British Columbians how lucky we are to have clean water to drink, wash and play with. The slight inconvenience of boiling water in China reminds me of that.
Water is beautiful. Especially when it rains. Rain groans the Vancouverite. But when you have one wet glorious day in a highly polluted country. Wow.
I tip my umbrella away for a second and let the drops tickle my face. Flip flops squeak and squish under warm wet toes. Yes, warm. In BC rain matches cold most of the time. But in Huang Shan I can be very warm and very wet at the same time.
My mind turns to other poetry….
How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers [and sisters] dwell together in unity!… It is like the dew of Hermon which flows down on the hills of Zion. For there the Lord commands the blessing- life forever more Psalm 133:1,3. The dew on Mount Hermon is not a trickle like the gentle jewels on grass in the morning. It is a drenching downpour.
The walk in the rain has been one of my few moments alone in China. We had many elaborate dinners with family and friends. Forest and his parents are my close traveling companions. How pleasant it was that we are dwelling together in unity. Kind of a miracle that no arguments have broken out amid the cultural differences and travel weariness. I was a little apprehensive about this trip because I didn’t know Forest’s parents well and China has a few emotional triggers for me from the past. My fears were washed away with their grace, care, respect and laughter. Sitting in the back seat with Forest, sometimes being silly, I often feel like his playful sibling in a close family of four.
I think of the words of Jesus, “Whoever drinks of the water that I give will never thirst again, but the water that I will give her will become in her a fountain of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:14
Water = life. Body, mind, spirit.
When we cherish water we treasure our lives.
I kind of like the Chinglish on the sign: “treasure you life”
Treasure those moments alone to walk, treasure times with family. Treasure your quirks. Treasure the victories and hard lessons. After getting married to Forest many people have told me, “you have no reason to ever feel sad again! Your life is perfect!” Well, I am blessed indeed above and beyond what I ever expected… but I am still sad, lonely and angry at times. I still have dirty dishes. Life can still be hard and confusing.
Treasure you life. My life is unique. No one else has a life exactly like mine or yours. Treasure it.