Digging my toes into a thick-grained, golden-sand beach, I turn around to examine the background of the picturesque area. Undaunted residential buildings rise up from the grassy hill behind the beach, architecturally difficult designs challenging the skyline. My building is tall enough to be a skyscraper, a pristine, baby-blue color. A purposeful square randomly designed in it provides a window to the world behind the city; rolling emerald hills that conquer even the tallest of buildings and cradle the impending dusk. It is designed in the shape of a rolling wave, while the glassy neighboring building tapers at the bottom and opens like a prideful peacock at the top.
Turning back around, I see that some time has passed; an orange halo of a sun has arrived. As it sets, it creates an ethereal pathway leading to the unknown of the horizon.The sky shimmers with humidity, the view hazy, gleaming with the lull of tranquil ambience. Repulse Bay glitters in the twilight, an array of an eternal expanse of turquoise sea.
As the tide pulls out, excited children gather on the beach in clumps. One will occasionally run off and jump into discussion with another group. As the sun reluctantly pulls below the horizon, I observe a faded, full moon pulling into a starry sky. The view of it is so big, you can see each individual crater. The people already on the beach lay out colorful towels and point eager fingers towards the sky in respect for the beauty of the beaming orb at her largest. Chinese legend says that a goddess lives on the moon, who once flew there to escape the wrath of her tyrannical husband. They look for her tonight.
Adults seemed to be lured out by the cooler air of the darkening sky. With them, they bring good tidings; glowsticks, sweaters, and magnificent orange and ruby-colored paper lanterns. Amused by the antics of the children, they give us patronizing faces of disapproval. They hand the children the lanterns and glow sticks, pre-lit and cracked. I grab one and chase my sister with it. She waddles away from the neon cerulean beacon, laughing.
I’ve always wondered what this festival would look like from the perspective of an airplane, Hong Kong becoming a single speck of brightness. Tangible fire-smoke wafts from somewhere, and the blackened water reeks of salt. Together they create the authentic smell of the Moon Festival; the reunion of families and the togetherness of the holiday. From somewhere else the laughter of children dances in my ears, echoing off the sky. It’s quiet, yet loud. If I listen closely, I might be able to hear the labored footsteps of a smug goddess, twirling on the stars.
It is glorious.