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The Force of Wind

The Force of Wind

Description : The Force of Wind
Wuyi Moutains

Fujian Province


September 2008

Fu-han watched the passing boats in the late afternoon sun, carrying their people and wares to the small town just a few miles away. The sun glinted off the surface of the Nine-Bend River and a breeze stirred, swirling the air and tickling the red and gold leaves from the trees. They whirled and twisted in the wind, fluttering down to lay along the edge of the water and drift downstream, carried away by the burbling river.

“Master, do we need more of the moss?”

The old man brushed a few leaves from his faded grey robes and glanced down to the young brother who was gathering moss from a rock along the bank. The young man had good eyes, stronger now than the eyes of the old man who taught him. Fu-han held his gnarled hand out and motioned to the young man, asking him to bring the basket closer to his eyes.

“No more.”

“Is that all we need from this part of the forest? Are the mushrooms here the correct ones or do we need to go upstream?”

The old man gave a crooked smile. Elder Lu was wise to choose this young one to be his apprentice, despite his impatience. Impatience, Fu-han knew, could be mastered, but perception such as the boy’s could not be taught. The young man already perceived even a slight difference in the hours of shade could impart a different character to an ingredient.

“We have enough for this remedy. These mushrooms are fine for healing. Do we have all the other ingredients?”

The young man glanced at the slip of paper in his hand. “Yes, Master.”

“Then, let us begin our walk back,” he said with a smile.

The young man held out his arm for his teacher, who grabbed it along with his walking stick. They started up the...

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