Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Relatives of Old and New

Most of March and April saw the coming and going of many relatives here. Several of my aunts and uncles had returned to Taiwan to cast their votes for the March 20th Presidental elections. And several of my cousins, who didn't have voting rights came later to do the standard tour around Taiwan consisting of Taipei, Dam Shui, East Coast (Tai Dong), Hualien Taroko Gorge, Southern Taiwan- Kenting National park. My cousins had not visited Taiwan in over ten years, so it must have been an eye-opening comparison for them. Most of my weekends were spent catching up with relatives of old and new.

Recently on one particular weekend, I had the pleasure of spending an evening chatting with my cousin "B" and his wife "L", my cousin-in-law (a new relative), who I didn't know very well, since none of us have ever lived in the same country, let alone the same city since they've been married. After dinner on a Friday night, they welcomed a leisurely walk along Kaohsiung's Love River. It was a much needed diversion from the dizzying schedule they had been keeping- driving around Taiwan trying to see all the sights in a week.

As "L" talked excitedly about the biodiversity of Taiwan- as seen in it's various plant and wildlife- I realized that I had never heard anyone talk about Taiwan in that way. Usually the comments are about how polluted the air, water and environment are. Her enthusiasm was heartening. As she described some of the things she'd observed during her trip- a jumping fish that skimmed the water on the East Coast, the same white birds she'd noticed flying about in the sky throughout Taiwan- I began to see the things around me differently with a new appreciation. All the things around me became new- seeing things through someone else's eyes for the first time.

As we walked along the Love River, "L" explained how she's always been a biologist at heart, having nurtured this natural curiousity about the environment and nature from a young age. She was in one moment delighted by a geko she spotted and then disgusted by a huge cockroach creeping by.

That night I began to see so many people and things around me in a different light.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home