Thursday, November 09, 2017

two encounters on the path

I had a very nice, 21,000-step walk last night, all the way out to the Han River and along it a ways before I turned around and headed back. I'm feeling a lot better, and I think I'm recovering my senses of smell and taste, which means—mirabile dictu!—the return of my appetite. Still in a walking frame of mind, I once again walked to work today.

While en route to the office, I was accosted by a creepy gentleman in a long coat who said "Hello!" in English, followed by, "I just memorized this." At that point, he began a recitation of a couple verses from the Sermon on the Mount (which begins in Matthew, chapter 5), ending with the classic, "be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect." After that, he said, "Have a good day." As he turned to go, I smiled, bowed, and made the Buddhist hapjang gesture (bowing with palms together). It seemed fitting. In the end, the guy proved harmless and not as creepy as all that, although his intrusion on my privacy was still slightly annoying. That said, his recitation could be taken as a sort of magical gesture, an attempt to flick some karmic pixie dust my way (or, in Christian language, to share a blessing). No harm in a well-intended gesture.

The path was leafy: fall has come with a vengeance. The people who maintain the path have been raking the fallen leaves on a daily basis, and today I saw that some leaf piles had been shaped into hearts, so I snapped a shot of one such pile:

Right as I stopped to take the heart-shaped pile in, an older couple also stopped, noticing the pile at the same time. "Who did this?" the lady asked me in Korean. "I'm not sure," I said. "But I think the people who clean the path probably did this." I chalked this up to another spirit-booster. Thus did I continue on my way, soul-nourished by biblical verses and a heart-shaped leaf pile—reminders that there are always reasons to be happy.

Come to think of it, I think the first photo above also shows a heart-shaped leaf pile.

1 comment:

John Mac said...

I'd say that most definitely qualifies as a good day!