Wong Hei Nam
A Tunnel to the Lost World in the Past
History is something from or created by people in the past. Have you ever imagined that you are creating a “History” somehow?
One day, Tsz-Man, a ten-year-old boy, was visiting the Mogao Grottoes with his family in Dunhuang. It is a massive group of caves filled with Buddhist statues and imagery. The art and objects found at Mogao reflected the meeting of cultures along the Silk Road and the collection of trade routes that for centuries linked China, Central Asia, and Europe.
When Tsz-Man was admiring one of the world’s largest Buddha statues, it suddenly came to life and said, “Help! A monk named Wai stole my key and has escaped. It is an extremely powerful key which could be dangerous if misused. He just entered that tunnel, please help catch him back!”
Tsz-Man’s caring nature took over as he agreed and scurried into the tunnel.
After Tsz-Man came out of the tunnel, he saw Wai-the-thief and dashed to seize him. With a flash of light, Wai transformed himself into a Buddha and made multiple clones of himself, dancing under the glowing sunlight.
“Come and catch me!” bellowed Wai.
Tsz-Man was stunned with hesitation. He tried but he kept grabbing the wrong one. He was exhausted and dazed at the sight of thousands of Buddhas. All of a sudden, Wai vanished in the air! Upon searching for Wai, he encountered another monk.
“Did you see another monk passing by?” inquired Tsz-Man.
“I am Yuezun and yes, I did see a monk rushing there.” replied the monk pointing to a tunnel.
Tsz-Man hurried through the tunnel. He spotted Wai in a distance and hollered, “Stop, thief!” The yelling noise alarmed a monk named Wang Yuanlu, who was smoking a cigarette nearby. Everyone chased after Wai to a large cave. Out of the blue, an opening emerged on the back wall which closed right after Wai and Tsz-Man entered. Wang Yuanlu was left alone in the cave, startled.
When Tsz-Man exited the tunnel, he saw that the Buddha get hold of Wai.
“Thanks for creating the history with Wai!” exclaimed the Buddha gratefully.
“What do you mean?” asked Tsz-Man confused.
“I will explain more.” said the Buddha, “With my key, you two just traveled back to the past. Remember Monk Yuezun? After seeing the thousand radiant Buddhas made by Wai, he was inspired to build the first cave here in the Mogao Grottoes. Remember Wang Yuanlu, the Taoist monk? He examined the wall meticulously after the tunnel closed. He noticed his cigarette smoke wafting toward the wall. Inquisitively, he knocked down the wall, and unearthed a mountain of valuable documents. That’s how our famous Library Cave was discovered.”
Tsz-Man could not believe his ears. He had just created the history! No wonder people said the grottoes were like tunnels to the lost world in the past!
Never underestimate yourself, we are all creating the history of our future selves!