Have you ever gone to a place and felt like time has stopped and you’ve gone back in time? That’s how my weekend felt like.

We frequently go to this place, the second hand bookstore and get some great buys. Last Saturday was no different. As we left, we got chatting with the owner, a retired Englishman. I learnt so much about him, his family, his life and we even chatted about diet and fitness. I was so intrigued that I didn’t want to leave!

He reminded me about life and brought me back to me. I am an emotional person, I like simplicity, nature, snails, books and the chance to write. I like the old Hong Kong, the less developed HK where there are lesser malls and more local stores like I grew up in. That’s probably why Mui Wo and Pui O feel comforting. The simplicity is appealing. Where it is simple, there is more community, lesser competition, drama and greed. People are more content at simpler places.

My day continued with more experiences of nature and simplicity that left me in awe. On Saturday night, as we were heading to the Silvermine Resort, rows of bulls marched quietly towards the beach. Their orderly manner amused me. They walked mindfully and in a row. One behind the other as if they were school children heading for assembly. It was the cutest sight! I stopped and wanted to see what they were going to do. But also I just wanted to take in this rare beauty.

All the bulls found a cozy spot on the sand and as they got comfortable they all laid down. They were getting ready for bed! Some bystanders like me were intrigued so we stood there watching them get ready for bed! Some older bulls looked at us. I’m sure he was probably thinking, “what is so odd about what we are doing? You guys are the odd ones, staring at us sleeping!” I realised that maybe us staring might have made them uncomfortable so we moved away. The cuteness didn’t end there.

The next morning, we wanted to go see the sunrise so we got out of the hotel at around 5isham. Actually I wanted to see them asleep that’s what prompted me to get up. Unfortunately, they weren’t there. I was surprised given how early it was. So we wandered around. Suddenly we saw a bull eating some grass. I know it may seem like nothing. Bulls went to sleep on the beach and then went away in the morning. What’s the big deal?

It is a huge deal. They taught me so much. They taught me how calm and peaceful they were. Unlike many humans. We tend to rush across the MTR platform for a train. We get irritated if the queue is long or we have to wait for a long time. They demonstrated mannerism and discipline. Lining up like that for humans tend to become chaotic when this is a basic thing we should be able to do instantly and yet the bulls did it so patiently, it was something to see and admire. Discipline because for many people if they don’t have to work the next day they are more likely to sleep in. These bulls are examples of good habit; early to bed, early to rise. As basic as these things are, we as humans tend not to prioritise this as important even though how our health has a lot to do with quality sleep.

The weekend was an insight to what I should appreciate more. The very kind gentleman showed me how old age can be so beautiful; living off his passion of collecting second hand books and selling them. Old age does not have to be full of sicknesses and living to die as long as you know how to listen to your body when it comes to exercise and food. He had it all sorted out! The bulls opened me up so I could notice nature even more, to break away from fears of animals especially since I’ve hardly been exposed to them growing up. The bulls showed me how big scary looking creatures can also be soft and lovable, it’s how we look at them that’s reflected.

I had a weekend of calmness, profound experiences, great food and best company and I am forever grateful to life for giving me opportunities to see and admire its creation. If this blog speaks to you, go to nature and be immersed. You’ll love it more than what the city could ever offer.

“Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity.” — Thich Nhat Hanh