© BY B SHAWN CLARK -
At the top the mist thickened into a near rain. The temperature had dropped. Inside a restroom he pulled out any clothes he was not already wearing out of his bag. Out of his trusty back pack he pulled out his leather gloves. They were the kind with the ends missing, allowing his finger tips to protrude. He thought about images of Fagan and the Artful Dodger, scrounging around for scraps.
He gathered in his now worn and frayed long-
Walking on the paved pathway towards Tian Tan he leaned forward into what had become a steady spray of cold water descending from the heavens.
He felt a presence approach from behind.
A Korean man, about his age, began walking close beside him, holding his umbrella up so they could share it. They walked together this way up the 268 stone steps that took them to the Giant Buddha. Pausing at one of the landings, he shifted the weight of his heavy carry-
“There is suffering on the path to enlightenment” he said with a wan smile, unsure if his new friend knew what the words meant in English, much less the meaning behind them.
He felt a curious sense of belonging, traveling through a once unfamiliar place packed in with a press of humanity he now felt a part of. Outside the Tung Chung Station he waited for the drizzling rain to subside before making his way to the soaring platform and onto a cable car, his trusty back pack and carry-
He stowed his gear and took in the barely visible panoramic view of the bay, South China Sea, and the Ngong Ping mountainside.