A Monk’s Take

Taipei, Taiwan.

As my eye was in the view finder, trying to capture this photo, someone behind me was saying something.  For just a second or two I ignored this voice, but after I took the picture I turned around to see who was talking to me.  The person was an elderly monk, who was just trying to say hello, making me feel bad for even ignoring her for a few seconds.  I tried to match her joyful hello with a nice greeting, which then started a conversation that gave me a lot of insight to the photo that I had just taken.

She told me when she was a little girl most of the buildings that are visible from this hill where not there.  Back in that time, Taipei was much smaller.  When she was older she left Taiwan to go to school in the United States.  After her schooling, she spent more time in the United States and only came back to Taiwan a few years ago.  When she came back she was shocked to see how many more buildings she could see from this hill and how much the city had grown.  When I heard all of this, I could not tell if she was sad about this change or happy about it, so I simply asked her how she felt.  To my question she simply smiled and said “Things always seem to change… So I guess I am okay with it.”

Even though this conversation was not very long, it was still a highlight of my day.  It also reminded me that while traveling it’s important not to ignore anyone, even if it is just for a moment, because you never know if they have a story to share.

4 responses to “A Monk’s Take

  1. a thoughtful story. I agree wit the monk/nun. everything changes constantly- only our photos capture a second in time. I’m also glad you had this conversation.

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