Sunday, January 3, 2010


Snowcaps ..

this is in the Alps - up there, the snow remain all year round. i didn't give this much thought until a friend sent a note from her travels while she was teaching in China - this is about her first encounter with snow:

The first snow I see in my life.

A chance meeting. An Indian businessman in the same city. The diplomatic wheels of the local government are set in motion. Being asked to meet him. And being shown around the first attraction of Lianyungang - the Flower and Fruit Mountain. The bitterness of winter has left this ancient peak bare. But I am in a daze. I see the beauty in the bareness. At the process of change that Nature goes through faithfully. Every season. Renewing herself eternally. 

The bus climbs on to the top. The temperature dips well below freezing. I am in no way prepared for that. And neither prepared for the sight that greets me. There it is. Snow. White. Pure whiteness glimmering in the haze of the evening sun. I tremble and shiver. Not with the cold, but at the wonder of it all. I remove my gloves, gather some of it in my hands, and although I can’t feel my hands, immediately numbed, I can feel the snow. Even now. Never to melt. It stays on, past winter and summer and all the seasons. Feel the snow. To feel it, is to see the beauty in life. No camera can capture it. Only the mind knows how to. 

The Flower and Fruit Mountain winds down past little waterfalls. And little caves. Where Buddhist monks searched for the meaning of Life. For Nirvana. For enlightenment. Call it what you may. The peace is overwhelming. So peaceful that the peace unsettles you. The mind rejects at first that which it is not accustomed to. And seeing for the first time, the Buddha. Surrounded as he is always in China, by two others. I know not whom the other statues signify. Incense sticks are lit. Monks strike the gong. And bless you. Unasked for. The best blessings in life are always unasked for, aren’t they? 


(this letter later found its way into book, see below.. but first this:)

Home Snow

and a very different kind of snowcap:

the first of the garden pictures for '10:
the withered sedum petals now come with snowcaps.

funny detail: in germany, sedum is called "Fetthenne" - "fat chicken".


Some lines about me: I'm into roads, stories, places, crossings, and all the things they lead and connect to. I edit BluePrintReview and the blueprint book + lit blog. Apart from being an editor and blogger, I am also an author myself. My new book Worlds Apart just launched:

Worls Apart: the true story of 2 friends, 2 journeys, and 10 life lessons  
In the global world, a traveler from Europe and a teacher from Asia meet in the web, share their journeys, and the joys, longings, and life lessons that wait along the road. Captured in letters and photos that reach from China and India to Germany and Spain, a dialogue across continents and cultures unfolds: Worl(d)s Apart

1 comment:

susan said...

I wonder if that has anything to do with the succulent cactus that's called "Hens and Chicks." Beautiful images, as always.