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Thanksgiving To Dashahu Lake [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2010-1-6 07:22:43 |Display all floors
Thanksgiving To Dashahu Lake

A thanksgiving stir is always in my mind ,which was resulted from an experience in Dashahu (a lake with wide sand beach ) in my childhood.
About seven kilometers’ away from my hometown, Dashahu lake was the south boundary of Po Yang Hu, the No. 1 inner lake in China.
In 1960’s Dashahu was a vast water area in spring and summer. In autumn and winter, however, it came to be a desert marsh covered by endless reed jungles.
The same as my story, nowadays, it became a historic relic. The boundless swamp became fertile former land.
As a lake, Dashahu had completely disappeared now, only an empty name left being the sign of an immigration settlement. In this case, I prefer calling this peace as an elegiac address rather than a memory.  

(1)
It was half century ago, when I going to be a middle school student. I didn’t grow up well and my figure was as tall as that of 10-year-old boy.
Unfortunately, the famine  spread out at that time.
I was in such hungry state that even a cup of pure rise became my craving dream.
My parents worried about me very much. They had done their best, but still
failed to satisfy my desire.
One day in early June of 1961, one of my neighbors was arranging her two sons to hometown, known as Tongcun village for stomach feeding.
She told my Mum, immediately behind the village there was an immense lake, known as Dashahu, it was flooded in the first half of each year and it’s getting dry in the second half. Then, the village leaders let the farmers to cultivate the marsh and plant rise. With vast silt, the soil was so fertile that nothing else needed to be done after the rise-seed transplanting. Needless to say, the harvest in autumn must be mostly exiting.
This cleaver creation brought local farmer significant benefit, therefore, no famine happened there at all.
The neighbor’s words enlightened my mum greatly. A sudden impulse came to her mind:“Why doesn’t my poor son accompany them to visit his cousin sister who happened to live in same village ?”  
(to be continued

[ Last edited by wenzili at 2010-1-7 09:19 PM ]

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Post time 2010-1-6 20:46:24 |Display all floors

(2)

The cousin  was my mother’s niece, who married a school teacher and had three daughters. Even though, she wasn’t that rich, the same as other country -mates in Tongcun village, currently, she had no worry about 3 meals a day. Her rice inventory was far more than enough, thank to the cultivated moor, as above-mentioned reason.
The village was composed by two portions: Old Residence and New Residence, which was separated from each other about one kilometer away and connected by a winding dyke
“Yes, here you are. This is New Residence. The first hut beside the road is my teacher’s home. That is where you want.” A friend of mine pointed the house and said to me.” My grandma lives in Old Residence, over there, tomorrow morning we’ll pick you up to somewhere, OK?” Another added. ”Bye, then!” two of them waved and cried to me simultaneously……
May be disturbed by the noise in front of the door, my sister together with her family came out from a straw-roofed hut with great joy and smiling.
After a warm greeting to my mum, she let me to the far end of this little hut.
To my surprise, even such a small and humbler room was still shared by my cousin and her parents in law.
Mustering up courage and bowing my body, I followed them going through a fluffy doorway. Suddenly, a cloud of darkness together with terrible burnt-smell approached to me and made me blind and dizzy.
Looking around, the straw roof was placed on low mud-wall. The so-called windows were nothing but a few holes as big as my balm.
Therefore, the sunlight and fresh air failed to come in, its dark and choky nature certainly be inevitable.
In the mean time, standing inside the room, I clearly felt pleasingly cool even in such hot summer season. I thought it must be its valuable virtue of heating isolation ,thank to the straw roof and mud wall.
“Wenzili, I suppose you are hungry,” a gentle voice flew to my ears as I watching and thinking. Following the sound and turning back, I found my cousin sister walked toward to me with a bowl of rice in hands.
“Wow! My God!” I could not help but crying out when I saw a huge bowl of rice really appeared in front of mine. Forgetting any courtesy and leaving a city boy's gentleman style behind, I snapped the rice and fiercely devoured.
For this meal, I forgot all the details, but one point I still remember no sooner than I made a clean sweep of the rice, my arm felt a little bit sore for holding that heavy bowl.
My sister was surprised by my behavior; she persisted in adding one more. However, at this moment, my common sense had come back already, to reserve my face, I reluctantly said no to her.

[ Last edited by wenzili at 2010-1-8 10:09 AM ]

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Post time 2010-1-6 20:50:38 |Display all floors

(3)

“wenzili,wenzili!” in an early morning of the next day, a loud shouting was heard outside the hut. They were my neighbor friends, who rode on a buffalo back and came to fulfill their commitment.
Our destination was Dashahu, where there must be tremendous fun, as they repeated again and again before.  
Sure enough, it was in flooding season. A spectacular scene appeared in front of mine. The lake was full of endless lotus. Millions of pink flowers sparsely inserted in the leave sea as if pieces of rubies were decorated in dark green velvet. The waving leaves driven by gusts of breeze insistently generated stirring booming sounds.
“Wenzili, let’s go down the water and pick up the lotus seeds!” my friends proposed loudly.
“Yes, but how can we do without boat? Will we drown?” said I cowardly.
“Oh! No, definitely not. Although it seems to be as vast as a sea, actually, the water is very shallow just covers our waist. ”one boy said.
“Besides, the bottom is very flat, unless you tramp to a lotus-picking hole.” the other pointed out.
“Lotus-picking hole?” I inquired.
“Yes, it is a hole dug by someone for lotus root before.” They explained.
“If you still scare, you may ride on our buffalo back, we’ll go down the water. Ok?” the old brother asked.
I nodded to them and did my best to try the buffalo ridding.
With their help, I finally had climbed on the back. Looking down the water, I found they all undressed and were stamping ahead like two wading birds.
Just a moment later, they all disappeared in the lotus sea, left a trace of turbid water and hail behind.
I didn’t want to lag behind, and raised up the yoke rope in hand, shouted to drive the buffalo ahead. Sure enough, no sooner than the beast trotted up, I also rushed into the lotus sea.
It was the early autumn, there were numerous lotus leaves supported by petioles (stems) above our heads just like someone kindly shaded us with countless umbrellas.
Like green jades, the lovely seedpods were nodding and bowing everywhere.
Under the leaves, my friends fully stretched their aims and picked up the seedpods as swift as combine harvesters.
Since the buffalo I rode was too clumsy to drive and I could do nothing on its back.  
Seeing my friends’ success, I could bear my situation and made up my mind to free from the hindrance.
I quickly stripped myself and slid from buffalo’s back, then, jumped into the water in complete nude.
I immediately realized I was wrong. Picking up lotus seeds in water is by no means as easy as I imagined. Like rose stem, there were lots of thorns on the petioles, which laid above and beneath the water and spread everywhere.
As if tramped on caltrops, first on my soles, legs then thighs; even bottom and berry burst out lot of sharp pains.
Thank to so many seedpods surrounding me, the picking “high pleasure” immediate drove any pain away.
Soon after my action, my hands were fully occupied by the seedpods and I had no idea how to carry on. Took a quick glimpse to my friends, I found an interesting scene.
When they picked the seedpods, they left the stems about one foot long and tied up the far ends together, then, split them as two parts and let them striding across their necks.
It’s really a good idea to free from their hands. I copied their way in hurry.
After a while, I heard a splash toward to me. One of my friends came and told me:“Wenzili, I suggested you to pick more old seeds rather than tender ones, since the old lotus seeds could be good substitution for rice”.
He was right, when the seed getting old, not only it contains more starch, but also can be reserved easily. Therefore, the old seeds were more helpful to us in that famine year.
When I tried to pick up a dark blown pod, its toughness made me puzzled again.
“Oh, come on, it’s very easy.” found my awkward performance, he came across and showed me the way again. Firstly, he tied up his trousers legs and held its waist in one hand, then, he bent and swayed the old pod in another hand.
To my surprise, all dark seeds inside the pod automatically fell into his trousers.
“When the seeds get ripe,” he explained,“the connection between seeds and pod is very week, therefore, a minor shaking is enough to separate them.”
Had leant this advanced technology; I spared no effort to fully use my trousers. Just a little while, two of my trousers legs were bulged.
I was very enthusiastic and excited, because I knew this harvest might help my parents and sisters to get rid of at least one week’s hunger.

[ Last edited by wenzili at 2010-1-8 05:58 PM ]

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Post time 2010-1-7 20:41:31 |Display all floors
(4)
My friends’ trousers-egs had bulged too, nothing else could be found as our container. We had no choice but to go back.
The brothers staggered toward to me and collected all trousers together, then put them on buffalo’s back.
As soon as we disembarked, a terrible idea suddenly appealed in my mind:
”Oh my God! How can we enter the village in such undressing condition?” I cried out with tear trickling down.
“It doesn’t matter!”” None of others’ business, just go ahead!” they responded to me cheerfully.
“It’s incredible. How can we do in this way?” I rejected this idea firmly.
“Come on my friend! here is countryside” the elder brother said.
“Yes, not like in your town, no one cares whether you dress or undress here. We even nakedly walking, streaking all summer, who cares?” the younger brother explained further.
I had no idea but to follow them, since I didn’t want to throw the seeds away to get my dress.
Bowing my body and covering my privacy with my balm, I had hobbled back to the hut.
Found me in such sorry-looking condition, my sister was petrified. She promptly dressed me with my brother-in-law’s trousers and gently touching my scratches with tears.
“Oh, dear! My little brother you should tell me beforehand. If I had known you were going to Dashahu, I would never permit you to do so.” She was so horrified that she immediately went into panting.
My cousin inherited my uncle’s genes and suffered from sever bronchitis ever since her childhood.
The bronchitis is a local epidemic in our hometown, which could be attributed to our geographical condition.
Located in south of the Po Yang Hu lake, our land was constantly swept out by the chilly mistral from Siberia.
In those difficult years, people always had insufficient dress, therefore, the cough spread out everywhere.
For a common sufferer of bronchitis, the most critical inducement is coldness. But to my cousin, the disease may happen in any time for any reasons.
It was the early summer in 1954, when I fully recognized the sever nature of her illness.
At that time, most portion of my hometown was flooded.
Fortunately, my home was located in the foot of Doshang Mountain. Higher position made us free from the homeless anxiety. But my cousin wasn’t that lucky. All of her land, property had been submerged. Luck enough, her family managed to escape from the flood, before the dike breaking down.
I still remember the scene when my cousin’s family, as flooding refugee, together with their farming cow and a lovely calf came to my home for temporary lodging.
At that time she was merely 24 year’s old*, but the figure appeared in front of us, was older than 40.
“ My dear aunt,” she said, leaning on my doorway with a pair of blank eyes.
“……” but her following words were immediately interrupted by a painful pant.
Noticed the situation, My mum put down her needlework and approached to them in hurry. Mum supported my cousin with hands and asked me to give her a cup of hot tea.
Mum settled all of them down in our spare rooms, however, she had trouble to host the cows, since there was no cowshed neither stall to rest the livestock in a common civil residence. Therefore, Dongshan Mountain was the only place for them to depasture.
In that year, my cousin’s misfortune wasn’t limited to the cursed flood; it came from worse to the worst.
One day, the cow mother and her baby were rambling on the top of Dongshan Mountain. The dense grasses made them so happy that they suddenly ran wild. Maybe they misunderstood the little plain as the vast moor of Dashahu. Needless to say, after a while they all dropped to a cliff.
Had such a monstrous strike, my cousin immediately fell to bed. Bronchitis plus high fever made her dying.
My mum was in such panic that not only she called doctors, but also kneed and burnt joss sticks in any shrine she could ever found.
……
In middle autumn, the flood had receded, but my cousin’s illness kept outbreak from time to time.
In spite of my mum’s advise, she insisted on returning home.
After that, our communication had been disconnected for respective life making, until this time when I visited them again for hungry reason.

[ Last edited by wenzili at 2010-1-7 09:41 PM ]

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Post time 2010-1-7 20:43:36 |Display all floors
(5)
The time was flying, unconsciously, I spent half a month in Tongcun village. With sufficient food for 3 meals a day, I’d forgotten all of the famine at home.
Since a new term was going to start, my friends and I decided to go back for registration.
It was a clear day, when my cousin got up much earlier to see me off. With heavy panting, she was busy at preparing two gifts for me, one bag of rise, another bag of lotus seeds, which was partially picked up by myself and mostly by my brother-in-law later on.
As bending, she wept to me:” My little brother, do come here and see me more often, your cousin never lack of foodstuff, but certainly is short of life......” as talking, she was bursting a loud cry.
My tears streaming down on my face, I could say nothing but sob and wave to show my heart breaking parting to her.
To save my strength, she asked my brother-in-law to help me for a boat hitchhiking beforehand.
The sail was going to set out in Old Residence Ferry of Dashahu. It would be my first trip on board. I forgot all the grief and immediately went into ruptures.
“Ai……Ya……Lai……”a long and loud shouting sounded on the stern, it’s the boatman’s working song.
“Ok, the boat is setting off now.” My friend knew it well and told me happily.
Sure enough, with the sail rising, the boat was slowly moving. I couldn’t help but standing up to say good-bye to our dear Dashahu!
About 20 minutes later, the boat slowly passed by the dike of New Residence.
Suddenly, an astonishing scene came to my eyes. I found all my cousin’s family members were presenting on the bank. They all were looking after me with frequent hand waving.
“Wenzili, do……come……and……see……me!” a guest of wind brought me my cousin’s week and discontinuous voice.
……
However, I failed to fulfill my commitment for thousands reasons.
Until 8 years later, when I came back home for my summer vacation. I said to my Mum that I want to visit my cousin again.
To my surprise, she told me a sad story with tears:
3 year’s ago, an occasional heavy-duty work deteriorated cousin’s bronchitis and caused subsequent Emphysema(lung infection and swelling).
With a borrowed pedal cab, my brother in law intended to send her to hospital in town at a wet night.
Unfortunately, they knocked into a truck. Both of them miserably became the victims of this traffic accident.
By the end of the story, both my mum and I were so sad that we were wailing and hugging to each other for a long time.
Ever since, once I recalled the past, my cousin’s voice, her family members’ waving on the dike are always shock my soul and cause an everlasting pain in my heart .……
Written on Jan. 6, 2009 in Guangdong

[ Last edited by wenzili at 2010-1-8 03:17 PM ]

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Post time 2010-7-5 16:15:44 |Display all floors

It's killing me

Oh,my god.Megan Fox got married.what a tragedy.

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