As I was walking up the stairs of the Zhiyun Monastery, this little monk was also making his way to the temple. In one hand, he carried his bowl; in the other, a toy matchbox car.
Nearing the top, he paused momentarily to spin the wheels on his car. How much time, I wondered, did he and the other young monks receive to play? What kinds of chores and responsibilities did this young boy have? When did he last see his family, and how long would he be at the monastery?
What is his story?
The moment of playfulness quickly evaporated and the little boy with the crocs quickly proceeded up the stairs and into the shadows of the buildings.