These are some pics of where we went on our honeymoon, aren’t they beautiful? I have been nostalgic lately and felt like finding pictures of the beautiful lakes. The natural color of the lakes is this intense blue, the minerals from the melted glaciers feeding them give them that color. I think if I didn’t believe in the Father, I would worship nature. As it is, I worship him for his nature, the unbelievable harshness of it, but yet indescribably breathtaking and beautiful, with the gentleness of a just born animal and flowers growing in places you didn’t think one could grow. These pictures don’t do it justice.
I know this picture is completely random but one of my students, Jing Jing, told me the story that this picture symbolizes and I thought it was so random and beautiful. In Chinese culture they don’t tell people that they love each other and in our “I love cheeseburgers” culture that is shocking! I jokingly told one of my students “Wu Ay Nee” (“I love you” in Chinese- Katy, you can correct me!) when she walked in the door of our classroom and she gave me an awkward smile- even knowing I was joking! Those words are so rarely spoken. They are only spoken to a husband or wife, not even spoken to a child.
So in this culture of restraint, stories emerge like the one she shared. This story is the basis for their Valentine’s Day, called the “Day of Sevens”. I couldn’t remember the story word for word so I copied it in. In late summer, the stars Altair and Vega are high in the night sky, and the Chinese tell the following love story, of which there are many variations:
A young cowherd named Niulang happens across seven fairy sisters bathing in a lake. He steals their clothes and waits to see what will happen. The fairy sisters elect the youngest and most beautiful sister Zhinü (literally “the weaver girl”, the star Vega) to retrieve their clothing. She does so, but since Niulang has seen her naked, she must agree to his request for marriage. But the Goddess of Heaven finds out that a mere mortal has married one of the fairy girls and is furious and takes her away.
Down on Earth, Niulang is very upset learning that his wife is gone and goes to get her. The Goddess found out he had come and was very angry. Taking out her hairpin, the Goddess scratches a wide river in the sky to separate the two lovers forever (thus forming the Milky Way, which separates Altair and Vega). Zhinü must sit forever on one side of the river, sadly weaving on her loom, while Niulang watches her from afar and takes care of their two children. But once a year all the magpies in the world take pity on them and fly up into heaven to form a bridge over the star Deneb in the Cygnus constellation so the lovers may be together for a single night, the seventh night of the seventh moon.
This is the day is when their “Day of Sevens” occurs every year by the lunar calendar. Jing Jing said that Chinese culture is very full of these type of stories, people who love each other and can’t tell them or be with each other so they live their lives apart suffering for the other person because they will never get to have them. Yay. Hope you enjoyed!