Travel to Mount Emei -- a father’s dream – a midlife crisis cure part iv


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No article about Mt. Emei would be complete without mentioning the monkeys of Mt Emei. These famous, furry and clownish creatures are a natural tourist attraction almost as popular as Golden Summit. The monkeys of Mt. Emei are Tibetan Macaques, or Chinese Stump-tail Macaques. They have brown fur and hairless faces as expression-filled as peoples'.

A Mt. Emei Monkey In Winter.

The monkeys' diet consists mainly of fruit, seeds, nuts, berries, insects, and - food they steal from tourists! Many climbers have returned from Mt. Emei with photos of monkeys drinking from discarded bottles or enjoying snacks they pilfered from a backpack. Sometimes the monkeys even steal the backpack, though it is the food they are really after. Local vendors sell nuts you can feed the monkeys and you are welcome to give food you brought from home, but the monkeys are most famous for their thievery.

Generations of stealing from hapless tourists has honed the monkeys' pick pocketing skills and made them aggressive. Don't turn your back or try to tease the monkeys with false offerings and hope to get away with it. John tempted the monkeys with a piece of bread he intended to eat himself, only to lose it to a monkey who leapt forward with lightning speed and snatched it from his hand! John was so surprised and angry he wanted to fight the monkey, but I held him back. Tibetan Macaques are small, but they are strong, fierce and travel in tight knit groups.

Sunset On Mt. Emei.

I wanted to end with the image of John and me standing together on Golden Summit watching a golden sunset -something like that, but there is no escaping a phrase my love wrote in Chinese:仿佛自由,肩洒阳光。(fǎng fú zì yóu, jiān sǎ yáng guāng, which means "Like the sunshine casting on my shoulder, getting close to liberty") It means life is a long, hard journey toward enlightenment; just like a long, hard climb up a mountain, getting closer to life's reward at the Golden Summit. Along the way we grow older. Our children grow older. We can't change this, because it is just life's natural cycle. But that doesn't mean we need to lose our direction or our beliefs - no, we need these things more than ever, guiding us to a higher position.

Just like the pilgrims who walk from far-flung lands to gather at Mt. Emei and pay respect to Buddha while purifying their souls, so am I just trying to cross over this midlife crisis and give my passion over to another day in my life.

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The above story's character are fictitious, but the mountains beauty is real!

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