Day 2 // 365 Days of Gratitude

Today I am grateful for finding stillness in the older pockets of this megacity. It’s beautiful to see the spirit of 老北京 (old Beijing) living on despite all the forces pushing its culture and history aside for the sake of commercialization.

I felt so at peace with the slower cadence in these alleyways. A few streets over, it’s a whole other world, but for now, I am surrounded by people slowing down to watch the day go by.

I see people chattering heatedly around the remnants of their hot pot meal, had in traditional style.

I see a child playing with a toy car. No smartphone in sight. No iPad in hand. No TV in front.

I see stalls selling seasonal fruit. No imported bananas. No avocados from the other side of the planet.

In the central business and commercial areas of Beijing, I tend to feel suffocated, finding it difficult to inhale deeply and exhale fully. My awareness is scattered and distracted by the signs telling me to buy buy buy, consume more and more to find happiness. My heart softens

My heart softens knowing there are ways and places where I can find peace and stillness. the slow walking, down-to-earth talking, full living.


Author: claireishuman

a young adult living between hong kong, beijing, london and boston

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