Saturday, April 24, 2010

마니산의 봄

The journey up Mt. Mani (마니산, 摩尼山) was anything but a walk in the park. My leg muscles weren't conditioned for some rigorous climbing. Bad ache and cramps, however, failed to dishearten me from trying to reach the peak at 468m above sea level. There was this desire in me to want to be part of Korean legend, to be where Dangun (단군, 檀君) was said to have prayed to the heaven during the old Joseon Dynasty.

Spring flowers had started to bloom, though much of the trees were still left bare. Speckles of pink, purple and yellow littered the mountain. The spirits of spring must have been back merry-making at their playground. Wandering clouds joined in the spring festival, enveloping the mountain and hikers in a veil of mist. I could have mistaken Mt. Mani for the place on earth where heaven is found.

Misty mountain with blooming azelea and cheeful hikers.

Cherry blossoms overhanging a pool of tranquil water

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