Saturday, April 30, 2011

Back From China!

Well, friends, I know it's been a while since I was able to post. My life has been full of activity for the past month and I just haven't had time. I have missed blogging. It is something I truly enjoy.

So, the major event of the past month was our long-anticipated trip to China. We took a direct flight from JFK to Beijing that traveled over the North Pole. It was awesome to think about where we were as we flew over the North lands. I didn't have a window seat, so I can't tell you what it looked like there. But I did have a window seat for our trip from Beijing to Shanghai for the second part of our journey after a few days in Beijing. I can't tell you why the sight of the mountains of China stirs me up emotionally, but that is the image that I remember from the film that first kindled my desire to visit China. I would have to say the beauty of those mountains, so unlike any other mountains I have seen, was the high point of my visit to China. I saw those mountains, not only from my window seat, but from our climb up the Great Wall of China.

The Great Wall is an amazing structure. It is more than 2000 miles long and hundreds of years old. It is an amazing work of man. Only parts of it have been restored for tourists to visit, climb and admire. At any restored location there is only so far you can go. Tom and I stopped several times on our climb up the steep Great Wall stairs and declared that we could not climb any farther up. We had only been in China for about a day and our bodies had not quite adjusted to the twelve hour time difference. I think it's called jet lag! Not only that, our trip to the Great Wall was the last stop after a busy day. As much as we wanted to, we just couldn't make it to the top. We didn't get as far up as we could go, but we did go farther than we thought we could! On one of our stops to catch our breath and consider if we could go any further, we sat on the uneven, worn, steps and looked out at the mountains. As I looked out I said to Tom, "Man made this, but man could never make that!" It was truly breath-taking.
Our tour was designed to show us many of the beautiful creations that the Chinese produce: beautiful gardens, silk, embroidery, hand knotted silk rugs. All of it was lovely, but none of that beauty compares to the natural beauty of the land itself. What I bring back with me couldn't be stored in a suitcase, or purchased with money. What I bring back with me is the memory of a beauty that man can only try to mimic, but can never recreate. A beauty that only the Hands that created the universe are capable of. I wouldn't trade that for...all the tea in China! Blessings!