The days here have been so long–especially because they begin for me at 3:30am–it is hard to believe that our time here is nearly at an end. We leave tomorrow and take the train back to Taipei for out last two days in Taiwan.
I wish I could describe the quality of frantic serenity/serene franticity? that the Abode is steeped in. It is beautiful here, even tho the mountain mists hang low and we have seen the sun only for a couple of hours since we arrived a week ago, it is peaceful, lush and alive.
Everyone works hard and effeciently, and at the same time they exude a joyful radiance that only increases when they are bringing you “cha” (tea) or a flower to smell or a cookie to eat. There is much work to be done just to keep the Abode going; preparing the food, growing the food, cleaning the buildings, tending to the grounds, welcoming and caring for visitors, and much much more.
Today we worked for a while in the factory, adhering labels to all natural bug repellent which they sell.
They also make soaps and candles here, essential oils and ceramic items. But the larger work of disaster relief and caring for the sick, the poor, the elderly around the world is the true Tzu Chi gift. –Check out their web site Tzu Chi.
It is difficult to express the extent to which we two white haired, white, old “mei guo ren” ladies, have been embraced and cared for, for no other reason than we are connected to Ge Bin (one of Alex’s Chinese names) and they love and value him so. Or maybe that is not the case. Maybe they have just been so generously welcoming to Mama and Ahmah, just because. That is what they do, how they live, and how they practice their engaged Buddhism.