CTTB’s Little Daily Snippets

Virginia Chung, 11th grade, Developing Virtue Secondary School (graduated in 2008)

The fogginess at the crack of dawn, the vibrantly colored clouds at sundown, and the recitation in the Buddha Hall…I like everything about the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. However, what I like the most are the little things that people are already accustomed to.

When the first light of day hits, the sun’s rays pour over the drowsy earth like maple syrup over pancakes and gently nudge the plants and animals awake. I greedily breathe in the fresh air as it calms my previous night’s frustration and brightens up my spirit. CTTB’s beautiful morning tells me that today is a new day, so I have to make that day a masterpiece.

The City’s environment provides free resources. For example, alarm clocks are not required here—Mr. Peacock will use his wonderful, off-tune voice to wake you up. “Wake up! Wake up!” he would call. And whenever we are running late for evening ceremony, he would urge us, crying, “Faster, faster!” As for walking down on the road, we not only have to take care not to step on other living beings but also have to watch out for peacock poop…or else you will be “bombarded.”

The school flag ceremony’s “Triple Jewel Refuge”, “Pledge of Allegiance”, and greetings to the teachers launch off a day of learning. Studying voices and laughter bounce off the hallway walls, symbolizing the carefree life of a student. When the last bell rings in public school, all the students run off as quick as a cat can wink his eye. However it is a different matter in Developing Virtue Girls’ School. After school, you can still see the girls’ hardworking silhouettes busily moving between rooms. Here, students are all active in extracurricular activities…

As the day turns to night, the frogs begin croaking in quartets as if bidding the sun goodbye. At this time, the clouds change their colors in accord to the setting sun…yellow, orange, red, and purple. As all the animals head back home, the frogs break the silence of the setting sun with their vociferous voices, adding life to the evening.

When the sun descends and the moon ascends, it is evening ceremony time. People’s black robes float in the air as they walk towards the Buddha Hall. As I recite, my voice combines with others as we single-mindedly chant to go to the Pure Land. The messy, tangled thoughts in my mind settle, leaving a ripple-free pool of clean water. I watch my thoughts go by like watching a movie. I always try to remain unaffected by the thoughts. Yet, every so often my mind begins to wander, so I stop the train of thoughts and let them sink back down to the bottom.

At nighttime, the sky is studded with sparkling diamonds. Occasionally, if we are lucky enough, we see a shooting star shoot across the twinkling sky and disappear! This is what you cannot find in any other city—CTTB is not polluted by industrial fumes; no black smog covers the CTTB night sky. Here, the stars wink at you and say, “Good night!”

I like the rise of the sun, the shrill cries of the peacocks, the colorful student life, the starry nights…I like the City’s little daily snippets.

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THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS