Holding On for Peace (为了和平)

21 Sep 2019

Kinmen Island is much more than a former military base or a war zone between the CCP and KMT.

Walking among ancient pine trees and stones felt very peaceful.

This little island that has survived the ravages of bombing also contains shrines & human dwellings bearing features of Minnan architecture dating from 600 years ago.

At the main courtyard of Zhu Shan Da Yuan. This house is at least 200 years old.

Our lodging this time was in the village of Zhushan (珠山), a short drive from the old city of Houpu(后浦) where my grandma was born.

In olden times auspicious dates & timings dictated the laying of stones, erecting of pillars & raising of beams. This could be why I felt very strong sitting in this space.

One morning as I sat gazing into the courtyard of the 200-year-old house while the birds chirped and a black butterfly lingered, I felt a deep sense of peace followed by gratitude to the Kinmen people, especially the elders.

We shared a freshly baked sponge cake with Grandma Ongg who in turned nourished our spirit with her stories of how her home endured 4 bombings and how she & her husband raised and educated 7 kids through farming & hawking. She IS a victor in the wars of life and speaks about gains & losses with equanimity.

The older generations had suffered terribly during the wars, but they held on to their homes so that someone like us get to savour the peace and appreciate a bit of history.

Kinmen breakfast of porridge, buns and sweet potato in the days of plenty.

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