TRAVEL: The Lotus Garden @ Hualien, Taiwan.

As we start to drive out towards the East Rift Valley, Ms Chen (Tourguide and driver for the day) suggested to see the Lotuses.

I had never given a second thought to the Lotus or flowers with it’s timing for blooming.

Suddenly it felt like, i had never taken a moment to cherish certain aspects in life. Pause, and smell the roses – as much as I wanted and should.

“Quick.” she says as we left the temple. “Let’s see if we make it on time to se the lotus still in bloom. They might have closed already”.

So the Lotus blooms as the sun rises and kisses it with it’s rays. How romantic.

And as the day moves on towards noon, the petals sets to close again. Isn’t that a beautiful miracle?

That a flower should live and sleep, thrive according to how nature works.

I learnt something new about the flower.

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We were in time.

To see a many still in bloom.

I didn’t really know where I was, but I remember a restaurant there.

A huge pond with just lotuses and a big gushing canal with mountain river water.

Imagine, water from the mountains around me. Not a reservoir.

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This inter-relationship with the sun and the mountains.

People who depend on it to live. And therefore respect it.

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That the beauty of nature in itself can overwhelm. Coming from a country like Singapore, with it’s lack of natural scenery and its elements, one can forsake or lack the understanding of the word: ‘Appreciation’ sometimes.

The 4 days spent in Hualien, taught me many things about life and appreciation of it.

And I can only wish I had more time to see the county even more, savour it slowly.

To be grateful for living in a safe, stable country like Singapore, to remember to stop and smell the roses (Too many times).

That the grass can seem greener on the other side, but many times we need to rethink and appreciate what we already have around us.

In rural areas, people have have to think about how to make ends meet, to make do what they have out of the lands – Agriculture and Tourism. But the area is starting to commercialize more now, with paved roads, the biggest educational campus being built (More on that later) , more hotels being built etc.

If one were to choose remain where they are, be happy, being simple. To have the beauty of the wonders of nature surrounding you, greeting you each morning.

Or leave to the big city, and carve their future there. Missing their hometown, missing the simplicity there is up in the mountains.

Am I blabbering?

It was just at this part of the late morning I have learnt something from this land and even the tour guide again.

There was never a time I felt uncomfortable with her, I know it is tiring to keep narrating. To drive and to entertain a passenger. I appreciated that.

She said to me: : “You can talk to me like a big sister. Anything that can be bothering you, just anything.”

We can come seeking our dreams, wanting a getaway from urban life, wanting a part of all this for memory. But what do we bring away after? Realise and learnt?

When we admire and croon over the scenic views and whatnots, thinking  – “Wow. This must be a great place to live in” – it is.What are the compromising points?

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