Bright Sky Monastery is sitting on the southern hillside
approximately halfway to the top of the Thatch Hill (茅山);
on the northern slope, there is a three-fold cascade falling
from the summit right down the mountain.
The Thatch Hill is neither tall nor steep, so the waterfall
descends calmly, and on the ground at the foot of the hill
where it lands there is only a gentle spray that produces
a thin layer of haze. As it is mainly formed by the mountain
springs and streams, it never dries out even during the draught
Like the residents of the Watery Town, we monks in the Bright
Sky Monastery use tap water for our daily needs. However
our tap water isn't from a factory but pumped up from a well.
Yet still, some visitors prefer to have their tea brewed
with water from the mountain spring. On such occasions, I
would ascend to the hilltop to fetch water, and the two novices,
No Fool and No Dust, would go with me. Normally we three
climb a short way up to reach the source of the waterfall
from the second-fold of the cascade where our temple situates,
and then I come down on my own. The two boys just use this
as an excuse for enjoying an outdoor excursion.
At the moment, May 2007, the season is in the mature spring.
Wild flowers have fully blossomed with white butterflies
dancing among them. When a gust of wind on the summit blows
through, some flowers were snapped off their stems and float
in the air, swirling, hovering, for a long while refusing
to touch down. After a long while, they would have a soft
landing on water, drifting down the hill.
Yesterday we three went to the top again, and I came down
alone with a full tub of spring water. On my way I walked
past an old man sitting on a stone by the mountain trail,
“Sir, what concerns you,” I enquired.
“Young master, I heard there is a wonder grass in this mountain,
I've traveled here to search, and found nothing,” said he.
When my master learned this, he sighed, “What a waste, for
a tiny grass, he missed the beautiful mountain scene.”
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