Saturday, February 23, 2013

Water's edge ~ China of long ago

It was just last weekend that I meandered along the windy roads of China Camp State Park, located just moments from my home, along the shore of the San Pablo Bay in Marin County. I could have been tempted by the discovery of alluring hiking trails along steep ridges with magical vistas; but once again, it was the water's edge that drew me in. 

The views of the waterfront are beautiful and tranquil. I was drawn to the small historic Chinese shrimp-fishing village nestled in its own idealic cove. Back in the 1880s, this thriving fishing village had nearly 500 people living there. As fishermen by trade in their homeland of Canton, China, they came, they netted, they dried, and shipped their harvest for years to come. I am told a descendent of one of these fishermen still tends to a small weekend cafĂ©.

As I walked back and forth along the beach, camera in hand, I was taken in by the ghost-town feeling, and reminisced back to my high school days in Singapore, and the poetry of Li Po - one of the great Chinese classical poets.

Autumn River Song ~ by Li Po
The moon shimmers in green water. 
White herons fly through the moonlight.
The young man hears a girl gathering water-chestnut. 
Into the night, singing, they paddle home together.

There is such beauty around ~ as the winter chill slowly makes room for spring's awakening, 
I know I will return to China Camp, and maybe even to Singapore. 
It would clearly be good for the soul...

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