It was pitch dark on the porch, the soothing breeze blew over from the valley, the fireflies danced around in the bushes, and the crickets chirped in the meadow. It was such a beautiful night in the mountains. I felt as if I was in the heaven. Shyi-Dong had already finished a meeting with a group of important people and now they were enjoying themselves inside a lodge. I was waiting to go for a walk under the starry sky, but there was no sign that Shyi-Dong could leave the group. Sitting alone on the porch, I watched people singing and clapping their hands excitedly. After driving for two and half hours to this mountain resort and going directly into a long day meeting, every one looked exhausted. Singing was definitely the best way for them to unwind. Obviously, the meeting was very successful because they were chatting and singing loudly with big smiles. Watching their excited faces through the window, I wondered how many more commitments they had made at the meeting to add to their overwhelming daily workloads. They were only in their fifties and sixties, but they couldn’t hide their grey hairs and wrinkles.

There was a story I read one time about a man who complained to the Lord how heavy his load was on his back and he asked the Lord to lighten it. Before the Lord could answer, he quickly picked up everything he saw on the way as he passed and put on his back.

Last week a well-known doctor was invited to give a speech exclusively to those elitists on the issue of health. Everyone listened attentively because no one was in good health and they desperately needed medical advice. It was very ironic that those elitists had won the whole world, but had lost their health.

After a good sleep, everyone would rush to leave for another appointment in the morning. It was hard to understand that they made a special trip all the way up to the mountains, but they had no time or energy to climb any one of them. Didn’t the doctor suggest that mountain climbing was good exercise? Why was everyone in such a hurry? They were right in the mountains but it seemed to them that the mountains never existed.

I remember another story which was about time and a watch. A rich man was showing off his gold Rolex watch to a poor man who didn’t even have one. Admiring the beauty of the gold watch, the poor man said slowly: “I don’t have a watch but I have time.”

Thinking about this story, the elitists’ faces were dancing in front of me, I decided to tell Shyi-Dong that I would rather him remain ‘a small potato’. Yes, let’s go climbing the mountains.

Bih-Hua Chen
May 3, 2009