Monday, February 21, 2011

POEM: A Train in the Tunnel

The smell of paint and oil rises in my nose
As the train rocks and flies past green flashes in the sunlight
And then suddenly like a blow
A shadow and darkness of a tunnel's night
Rushes roaring in my ears.
Cold wind blows through the car
The loud darkness seems never ending.
But then I hear a voice in my ear:
"No matter how long or dark the tunnel
 In Christ there will always be an exit into light."
Hope rises in my heart
But as the minutes rattle past
My feeble mind nearly forgets the dream of a bright world outside.
--There is a brightening--
And we fly into warm sun
Rush past rolling hills all green with life
My heart warming and rising like a kite.

How many more tunnels will I go through
Until I reach the brightness of You?
How many? It doesn't matter.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Travels to Yunnan

 Where's Yunnan?  It's a province in south-western China, just above Thailand and Myanmar. Yunnan means "Cloud South" and it's a beautiful part of China. The part I usually live in is greasy with smog and filled with square concrete buildings with all the charm of cinder blocks, so it was nice to see a lovely side of this place I live.

First we went to a city called Li-jiang, part of which is old and historical. (See picture above.) It's full of winding cobblestone pathways that were made four to six hundred years ago.

After a few days we traveled a few hours to some mountains nearby, to a place called "Tiger Leaping Gorge."  So called because there were some rocks on the river over which tigers used to jump to get from one side to the other with small lambs in their mouths. But no tigers live there nowadays.
We hiked for two and a half days down this ridge of ancient mountains facing another ridge across the river below.  Pretty spectacular. Reminded us that God still has the gold star for impressive architecture.  Just being there was refreshing to the soul in a way even the lovely old town of Lijiang could not be.