From Hidden Beauties, a Reminder

2 01 2012

I read about an old journalism adage recently, that the best story is often the one staring you in the face. It’s been floating around in the back of my mind lately, and I think it can be extended to include Hong Kong’s beauties: its best aspects are often staring us right in the face.

Visiting Po Toi Island yesterday to wrap up 2011, it felt as if I had been transported far from Hong Kong and dropped on some exotic paradise of some sort. The South China Sea stretched relentlessly on before me, the rocky landscape was interspersed with fantastical rock structures, and everywhere I looked, there was a sense that this island had stories to tell.

As I walked towards the southern tip of this southern most island of Hong Kong on the last day of 2011, it occurred to me that there was something very ironic and paradoxical about it all. Here I was, counting the last hours of the year 2011, reflecting on and celebrating the happenings of the past 365 days. And yet right under my very feet was a cliff made of rocks millions of years old, and all around me there were rocks jutting out of the landscape, looking like a monk from this angle, a turtle from another. No one had moved them there – nature’s elements did, over a long, long time.

And so while I was there counting time in hours, surrounding me was a landscape created through an eternity. This, I think, was a reminder. When we counted down ten, nine, eight seven…what did those ten seconds really mean? Nothing, really, when put into perspective of the eternity of the surrounding world.

I couldn’t have asked for a better way to wrap up 2011.

Counting time in hours while touching time in the form of millions of years...a reminder of our place in the world.

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2 responses

2 01 2012
Anna

So true.
I remember you saying something like, “It puts everything into perspective.” I didn’t get it at first, but when you explained how, it was just like, yeah, bam, in your face. Kind of embarrassing really; our human trivialities are atomic compared to the eons those rocks have seen through. Amazing man.

4 01 2012
Michelle

Putting one in perspective about just how tiny one is.

Yeah, History does that to you sometimes…

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