→Submitted to P.S Magazine of FuJen Catholic University English Department
Memories Taken in the Fog
Mt. Qixing, the highest mountain in Taipei City, stands at one thousand one hundred and twenty feet. Located in Yangmingshan National Park, Qixing Mountain is known for its fields of silvergrass. Our impression of what we know of Qixing Mountain is often derived from our textbooks, the Internet, books, and so on. Seldom have we actually seen the scenery with our own eyes. Such was also my initial impression before I went hiking up Qixing with FuJen’s Hiking Club, however all it took was a one-day trip and the descent from the peak to Menghuan Pond that changed my perspective forever more.
It was afternoon. We had said good-bye to the pole with the words inscribed “Mt. Qixing, highest mountain in Taipei City, 1120 feet above sea level”, descended down, and then ascended up to Mt. Qixing East Peak. Like at the highest peak, nothing could be seen on the East Peak, as a thick, heavy fog hung over us, like a silvery curtain draped over our eyes, obscuring the magnificent scenery that rested below. As our group rested, passed around a can of beer, a beam of sunlight suddenly broke through the grey clouds, instantly warming our faces. Initially, the day had begun with slight rain, cloudy, chilly weather, and a brief summery temperature during noon, which ended during our ascent up to the peak. But it was at that moment did I realize just how simple yet inspiring nature’s beauty was. It was just a blast of sunshine from the heavens, the sun rearing its head with fortunate timing, yet it had not only brightened up the East Peak, but also everyone’s sprits. However, good things must come to an end. Our group quickly gathered, refreshed from our rest, and ready to head on to our next destination: Menghuan Pond. But before Menghuan Pond, we would be able to see the exotic plant of Mt. Qixing: the silvergrass.
With the sun shining down on our necks, our group descended down from the East Peak, trekking into fields of silvergrass. With the gentle push of the wind, the silvergrass field seemed to dance in cascading waves, quite like the ocean, sparkling sliver in the sunlight. We walked on a trail with silvergrass walls that loomed over us, tickling us as we pushed past them. It was too soon when we were walking on the trail that would lead us out of the fields. With a background of deep, forest green mountains, blue skies dotted with fluffy white clouds, and Taipei sitting on the horizon, the silvergrass that lined up along the trail in feathery bushes waved their farewell, sending us onto the road that would take us to Menghuan Pond.
Nature seemed to be in an emotional stint when we neared Menghuan Pond, however, for fog had descended upon the landscape. Light rain kissed our faces and the earth, making the trail muddy and the stones slippery. But everything was worth it, for Menghuan Pond literally took my breath away. It was almost like a scene taken from a fantasy story set in the woods. Moss floated on the surface of the pond. Trees surrounded the pond, creating a hazy reflection in the water. A fog hung sleepily over the area, which gave an eerie yet soothing atmosphere. You couldn’t see anything clearly, yet you could see everything at the same time, for the scene changes with the movement of the fog. The scenery changed each second. No moment stayed with us. Nature waited for no person.
People along the journey would bring up their cameras to capture the fleeting moments, rapidly taking pictures as if they were afraid they would never see another scene like this again. I suppose they were right to be afraid; no scene in nature is exactly the same. However, in everyone’s pursuit of taking the perfect photograph, we forget that the chase is different for each one of us, for every scene is special in its own way, along with the emotions that come with it.