Song of Picking Mulberries
By Ouyang Xiu

Viewed from a light boat with short oars, West lake is fair;
Green water winds along
The banks overgrown with sweet grass; here and there
Faintly we hear flute song.
The water surface is smooth like glass when no wind blows;
I feel the boat move no more.
Leaving ripples behind, it goes;
The startled water birds skim the flat sandy shore.




I was alone at the beach with not a care in the world, didn’t even bother to bring a watch to check the time. Relieved that there are no appointments, no schedule set for the next few days.

They say it’s normal. All of us need a break sometimes. To run away from the roles we play, from the responsibilities we assume. A breathing space, where we can just be.




It’s always been this way for me for as long as I can remember. I run away from people or situations every now and then, whenever I’d feel stuck, suffocated, or uninspired. Some I run away from temporarily, some for good. Right after college, I remembered choosing to find work in a different city, so I could run away from home. I remembered frequently going on vacations so I could run away from work. I remembered triggering conflicts so I could run away from relationships.

Not my best quality, I admit.

I used to ask myself “Why am I so good at running away? Why is it so much easier to run away than to face what needs facing? Shouldn’t it be wise to just get it over and done with? How come the need to run away in me is so strong, that sometimes it takes over my life situations before I know it?One thing for sure, I’m scared of the monster I’d usually become when pushed with my back against the wall. Scared that I might do or say things that I’ll regret. For emotions to get the better of me. So I run away.





It’s been about a week now that I’m on a vacation, away from the mundane routine of the life I’m living. A little more relaxed. Knowing that this would be over soon, I try my best to stay present, soak it all in. That is before I let go and eventually have to face what needs facing.

But at least now, after taking a step back even just for awhile, has in a way refilled my self-love-tank. The self-love-tank that almost ran dry. This short break has allowed me to make more space for compassion to expand within and without. With every in breath and with every out breath. One at a time.




Have you yourself taken this similar kind of vacation?

If yes, then great! I do hope that it served as a spring board for you to start the second half of the year strong.

If not, then great! That means that you’ve finally seen that place in you where you need not run away from anything or from anyone anymore.