Be with the mountains, Walk with others
Some people say that the experience of visiting a museum depends not only on the exhibits but begins at the moment of departure. The mood held, the route to the destination, the visit plan of one or several people, the appearance of the buildings, and even the weather at the time of that visit, all of these factors determine the overall feeling and experience.
If you apply the same concept to nearby nature in Hong Kong, you may get a different feeling. Use two practices on the same site, for example. First, take a ride from the city into Sai Kung East Dam to see the Geopark, taking the shortest time, then catch a taxi back (if you can find one). Second practice, starting at the first sign pole in Pak Tam Chung, traveling ten kilometers, and then heading to the East Dam. I believe that the same person who takes these two practices will have a very diverse experience of East Dam. One is trying to bring urban convenience to the suburbs. The other is having the suburbs’ values temporarily open up the city’s established framework for you.
Some people sleeping 16 hours a day at home still get tired. Some others have a tight schedule yet are energetic. The key is to switch modes. People are not like mobile phones. They can’t change all the time, improve concentration, and relax at any time. Suburbs are a magical and advantageous place to let go of everyday life and pressures for a while. But one can insist on talking on the phone or recording a message while walking up the mountain out of breath. One can choose to send a quotation in front of a sunset. It is also possible to “swipe the phone screen” to check social media responses on the dark and silent road. It is all possible. But when you look up, you miss the sheer beauty and solitude of the starry sky.
In the mountains and forests, people are smaller and more vulnerable. We have to prevent mosquito bites and pay attention to spiders, snakes, wild boars, and monkeys. Taking mountains one after another is challenging, and going down one takes longer than you expect. Time is difficult to budget for, and making one step forward is difficult. Nevertheless, it is a chance to train yourself to be humble and obedient to Creation and the world.
Simple decisions at the start of a journey open up many profound images of life. For example, heading for the starry sky of Mount Agung in Indonesia at midnight, you will experience breathtaking beauty. It could also be like hundreds of people waiting for the “Imperial Light” on Mount Fuji. It’s easy to lose the subtle understanding between man and nature because it seems vulnerable. It depends on how you let go of time, putting all of yourself into it. Even if sometimes you travel to Mount Phoenix for the sunrise view but get mist and fog, it still gives you expectations. Maybe in the future, someone wants you to see it again. In your reluctance, a picturesque scene with a one percent chance is right here without you expecting it.
These are all close to Hong Kong, as if on another level above the streets, covering the daily troubles.
Recently, I led a mountaineering trip called “Night to Light”. This name means bringing hope when dawn breaks, and we can also imagine that the stars are moving up and leading us forward. The organizer hopes to combine recovery stories with stargazing so that participants can feel the impermanence and perseverance of life. In addition, they can feel the unpredictable nature and permanence of the starry sky. These beautiful elements naturally enrich this simple outing. Places are familiar, such as Tai Au Mun and Tai Mei Tuk, popular suburban neighborhoods in Hong Kong, but it gives an entirely different experience. It is also due to the mood at the moment of departure. The more we can let go of habitual ideas or prejudices about mental illness or emotional distress, the easier it will be for us to walk in harmony with people in need and those who dare to stand up to tell their stories.
Perhaps the most natural way to let go of the burden on our shoulders is to be with the mountains and walk with others.
Author: Law siu (許耀斌 Hui Yiu Pun), former DJ, freelance writer, Chinese works includes: “Where there is no hope, we need to hope”, “35/70, When I was at the age my parents gave birth to me.”