Shakadang River, Taiwan - Elva Lee

Everyone has a person who they share everything with, and for me, that person is my sister. Ever since we were little, we would do everything together: we would play together, shower together, sleep together; we were basically inseparable. My sister is three years older than I am, and so to me, she was always kind of like a role model that gave me motivation and inspiration. Even after growing up, we are still very close to each other and she really is one of the dearest people in my life.
I remember this one time in my childhood, my family went back to Taiwan, where we were born, for a vacation and our father took us, me and my sister, to Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien County. I remember that my sister and I had gotten into a fight and were mad at each other the entire ride. It was a fight over the stupidest thing, I think it was because of a fight over the remote control or something like that before we left the house. I was eleven at the time and yeah, it was kind of stupid and funny. So for that entire car ride, we refused to talk to each other and just sat there in silence, each doing our own thing, no one saying a word. Along the ride, our dad kept trying to distract us to get rid of the awkward silence by saying things like, “Look, isn’t the scenery beautiful?” or “Wow, there are so many trees!”, not that it worked, of course, but it’s still pretty funny. For the entire ride, we didn’t say anything, and I remember promising to myself that I was never going to talk to her ever again.
So after driving through the park for a bit, our dad stopped the car and we all got off. It really was a beautiful place there, the kind of place that makes you feel really connected to nature, you know? And right next to where we stopped, there was a running creek that stretched down the path, and it was just the most beautiful scene: with the flowing water, the rocks on the side, the trees all around; it was really just breathtaking. The water was clear and transparent, and was quite shallow so there weren’t any fish in it, and my sister and I ran there and started playing with the water. We took off our shoes and socks and laid them to the side, rolled up our pant legs, and slowly submerged our feet into the water and walked in. It didn’t feel cold like I thought it was going to be, but felt more cool and refreshing to the touch. I don’t remember how it happened but my sister and I, who had refused to even talk to each other just a few moments ago, began to play together, kicking and splashing the water at each other like we had never argued in the first place. It was really amazing, probably one of the most fun memories I have of us two together.
So after playing together there for a bit, we got out of the water, put on our shoes, and got back to the car to explore the rest of the park. This time, we were both laughing and grinning and having fun with each other, and that made our dad really happy too. I guess in a way, you can say that the water helped to strengthen the bond that my sister and I have, and that it brought us even closer together. And now, this has become one of my most cherished memories from my childhood that I’ll never forget.

Po Brady Li
Elva Lee

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