[Island Diary] ‘Blue skies, lush fields and rocky roads’ by Angela Lau

Click here for more info about this series and to read more Diary entries. — Ed.

Dear Island Diary,

These days I find myself constantly blown away by the beauty of this island. The Spring weather has been exceptionally gorgeous, the kind that makes you want to have an outdoor picnic or go for a nice long hike. 

As I ventured  into the small windy roads in Aewol where only farm trucks frequent, it struck me that underneath the blue sky and lush green fields, the instagrammable sunsets and hallabong farms, lies hardships and struggles.  

The land where I stood was extremely rocky, making it a challenge to grow and farm in; the clay soil, though abundant in volcanic nutrients, was cracked dry, desperate for a drench; the sea, despite the warming weather,  is still very cold for the Jeju diving women, known as haenyeo. Nothing comes easy on this island.

Yet, life moves on; life persists on.

Staring down at the head of broccoli growing from the rock hard, weedy soil, I am reminded that Jeju and its people have endured numerous hardships in the past, and are faced with new challenges in the present. I am reminded that our existence is inexplicably intertwined with nature, and that it demands our respect. 

And as I continue to walk, I am reminded, by the beauty and hardship of this island, to take nothing in life for granted.

About the author:

Angela Lau co-runs a lifestyle website called Jeju Catalyst (www.jejucatalyst.com) with the goal to create stories that capture the perspectives of those living on this little gem of an island. The site welcomes contributors to share untold stories, undiscovered places and all things Jeju. 


If you would like to contribute your own Jeju Island story, please contact the editor at todd@ijto.or.kr.


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