Weather has already gotten warmer here in Greece, so last night I went on the balcony to do some Yilus. There is something special in practicingunder the stars! A light breeze from the north, made the stars to shine bright in the dark night. As soon as I started doing the , immediately my first thought went to Daqingshan!
Having spent almost 7 moths on the mountain, we passed many nights under the sky, since we had almost every night training sessions at 20:00, which included mostly Yilus,, push-hands from time to time and various events, mostly in the summer.
The fact that I was waking up every single day at 05:10, in order to get ready for the 05:30 training, made it very hard to stay out late. In spite of that, I couldn’t resist to the nature’s beauty and Ispent some nights late outside, choice which I had to ‘pay’ the next morning, as I was struggling to get off my bed!
I remember one night, Zi Li and I went close to the Moon Pagoda, to experiment in night timelapse photography… Was still early in the Spring time and the temperature was bellow freezing! While we were waiting, “foundations” was our only way to keep our selves warm!
Another time during summer, five of us (me, Lina, Zi Li, Janet and Michael ) went for a night-hike to the famous “White House”, under the full Moon of July! The view of the valley and the surrounding mountains under the moonlight, the smell of the flowers and herbs in the warm wind of the night, were unforgettable! It was so nice, that none of us wanted to go back that night… But morning practice was waiting for us!
We spent some beautiful nights under the sky, after the practice was over, with the instructors and the rest team of Daqingshan, relaxing and trying to make some funny conversations! Our only hope: the precious help of Janet and the smart-phone translators! It was funny, sweet and “hard” at the same time, trying to communicate with each other, mostly because both sides were enjoying the company, but the language barrier made it much more difficult, even for the most simple jokes!
My idea of making a timelapse video of Daqingshan, lead me to spent more nights outside, all alone. Magic nights on the highest mountain where the antenna is located, in the forest or nights in the big Taiji square. Of course “fear” was always present, since all my life I’ve been reading stories and legends and watched Chinese movies etc etc even more with the “Caves of the 8 Immortals” being just close by… The wind, the insects, the owls and rest of nocturne animals, made sure that even if you were not a big fan or the “supernatural” and the legends, a constant feeling of goosebumps and numbness, was present at the back of your neck and spine, in every little sound and moving shadow!
One of my most favourite night, was the one I spent outside the Buddhist temple. The night started with fog and I was ready to pack my camera and go back to my room. All of a sudden the sky opened and the Milky-way appeared extremely bright, leaving me staring at it, with my mouth open! The candle in the temple was burning at Buddha’s feet and the shadows made the statue to look alive! The sound of the Chinese mantra chanting coming from the temple’s speakers, blended with the noise of countless crickets and made everything to look like an old movie! I stood still for a while and tried to record every little detail in my mind! It was a moment I felt I should engrave in my memory’s stone! All of a sudden, a big rabbit jumped out of the bushes and not having seen me, headed running towards me! It stopped just in front of my feet and froze! I guess it was the moment it realized my presence! Stared me for a second and run fast back to the forest again!
Of course as I said, sleeping 2-3 hours and waking up for a full day of practice, was more than exhausting, but it worthed it!
For those who have been already on the Green Mountain, probably I brought back some good memories! For those who haven’t, I hope I made you dream about it! Longing to make it back again one day!