I saw Tinnamen square, the incredible Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. The scale is past anything I could have imagined before I came. Sadly, a lot of the experience was lost on me because of my negative state at the time.
Fortunately, then I had today.
We went to the government jade store. I got myself a gift today. It is beautiful.
Then we went to the Heiffer Project village outside of Bejing. I’m sure a lot of people were affected by the poverty of their lives and our own fortune… but me… Apparently I needed to see some green and some blue. We drove out through these beautiful mountains, and after a long while we arrived at an extremely rural area right in the middle of the most beautiful scenery. Though the smog is ever present, it was much reduced in this area compared to Bejing city. There were chickens and goats and pigs and corn and beans and babies. Beautiful red cheeked babies that waved and smiled when we said hello in Chinese. I could have stayed there all day. I felt so very recharged. It was like being home in a way. Who knew I had become such a country girl.
The people must think it odd that we come in a troupe to watch them live their everyday lives. The two families were so sweet. They had dressed up their children for the event. Yes, what a humble existence, but wow what a place to live humbly.
And then we went to the Great Wall. Even now, thinking about it I begin to tear up. It was so overwhelming. We rode a lift most of the way up the mountain, and as I looked down at this devastatingly beautiful mountain below me and the incomprehensibly ancient wall getting closer to me, I had to pinch myself. Am I really here? How could I really be in this place? How could Wallace not be here experiencing this with me? Over and over again I became emotionally overwhelmed.
We had to walk the last part of the way. I always knew the Wall was fantastically long, but I never realized just how high up it is. The last part of the walk is tough – very tough. Very steep. And then. There you are.
Sitting on top of stone bricks placed there a thousand years ago. A place I looked out once had a watchman standing there protecting the territory. And it goes on as far as I can see in both directions and then some. It’s cool and it’s green, and it… Words escape me. I thought about where I’ve been in my life. The turns my life has taken. How could I ever have believed that at 37 I would be sitting on the Great Wall of China?
I tried to take a picture of every single thing that I could to share the experience with Wallace. Of all the places I go, I feel sure this is the experience I will most wish he had shared with me.
Many people were exhausted. I was energized to the point of being giddy.
No, I am not sorry I came. I can’t believe I came. I can’t believe I am here.