23 January 2018
I am crossing a rope bridge stretching from one large canyon to the next. Wooden planks, loosely held together by century-old ropes shimmy beneath my feet. To the right of me, is a mountain range. An enormous temple, with traditional Chinese architecture, rests on a nearby mountain side, reaching far into the heavens with its height and glory. Red pillars, gold embellishments, and high, angled stair cases standing out against the baby blue sky and forest green of the nearby woods.
I say to my travel companion, who is a lot like my friendly mother, I say to her that I’d like to spend time at that temple, perhaps it is a Buddhist temple, I query. She indicates that maybe we can stop there and spend time but maybe we can’t.
We continue along the shaky wooden bridge and as we near the land I raise my gaze upward and discover there is another large Chinese-style temple established on the mountain before us. A multi-ranked army, comprised of dozens of foot soldiers busy themselves with a variety of small tasks and their sprinkling across the mountain side gives the impression of tiny ants, busy at work.
When the emperor sees us, he calls his army to attention and shouts out a greeting. They all bow to us. Even though the bridge is rocking beneath my feet, I steady my footing and bow back to indicate my respect and my rank as a Martial Artist. At that point I realize I have a long sword in my left hand and a short sword in my right. I am a warrior and they acknowledge my presence among them. My bowing sets me a part from my companion and I am seen as her protector.