International
03

2018-04

How can I not recall you
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I’m not even sure it is an actually real experience, or it is just a dream of my childhood.

                                    —— preface


The summer when I was four


My mother took me back to her hometown, a village situated near an unknown river bend in Anhui. After a bumpy ride, I got off the tractor. The first thing that caught my sight was a big tree in front of the house. I didn't know what kind of tree it was. I could only remember it was sturdy, fresh green and gracefully slim. It seemed like a very old tree, but looked as if it was still in the bloom of youth.


The cool shade under the big tree was my favorite place to stay. For fear of my loneliness, my mother fetched me a piece of worn-out washboard and built a swing for me to play by hanging it on the tree with a long hemp rope. I liked sitting on it, looking at chickens, ducks, geese feeding at my feet. When adults saw me, they would also give a loving and sweet smile, even though they had toiled hard.


Every morning, there was always an old woman with gray hair carrying a basket to sell fish from door to door. The fish were not big but fresh, and we’d always buy some. In the evening, birds would return to their nests and wisps of smoke are curling up from the kitchen chimneys of every household. Sometimes, our whole family would sit together under the tree, enjoying the cool air and the meal, while talking of this and that. The old tree stood there without saying anything, just silently throwing a shade.


One day, the adults formed a circle in the back of the house. When I reached over, I saw my mother holding an axe and cutting another big peach tree as tall as that old tree. It was planted by my mother with her own hands as a child, but it was too old to make a peach anymore. People minded that it was too high and hindered the road. I could see a 30-year-old tree crashing down on the ground. Everyone burst into applause, which seemed to express their minds that they all finally got rid of the unpleasant thing.


Near autumn, the deciduous tree finally began to show a trace of old state, but it was also my time to go. When leaving the village, I fiddled with the swing rope, with an unexplained state of anxiety in mind.


Many years later, I was always living in Guangzhou, and never went back to Liu Hewan village. But I often recalled the joyous time I spent under that big tree.


The Qingming Festival when I was fourteen


My mother took me back to her hometown again. With nostalgia of childhood, I was particularly excited. What have happened to those flocks of chickens and ducks? Is the old lady who sold fish still alive? And also, what about that old tree, that swaying swing......


I went to the village by car. The road was much more spacious and flatter. What about the house? Which one was our house? After I got off the car, I looked around, at a loss. The elders referred to the house in front of me which was quite different from the picture in my memory. I was a little confused --- ah, yes, that tree! What about the old tree? The elders waved their hands, saying, that old tree? It had been cut a long time ago, for it blocked the light of the house. It was so easy for them to say that, but I wasn’t. I unwillingly walked in the village, in an attempt to find traces of my childhood, but to find that the paddy fields had become barren. It was impossible to find the tracks of chickens, ducks and geese after searching the whole village, it was so hard to see a person in the village, and there was a deathly silence in the whole village. The collapsed tile houses had been full of weeds, but no one paid any attention to them. I even couldn’t imagine that there was once such harmonious laughter full of human kindness in this land, so quiet and peaceful...... But it's gone. They all have gone.


I went back to that old tree again. At present, there was only a low section of stake. Looking at its remnant, it didn’t seem to be as strong as it used to be. Its past glory also had gone forever. Now, it was finally dead, and it couldn’t block out the sunlight anymore. Just like the village, existing in name only, it couldn’t stop the pace of people moving to the city, either. 


I live in a flower city, a city with spring all the year round. Banyan trees on either side of the road are shady and cool throughout the year. But in my eyes, “The clouds over Mount Wushan are the only true clouds.” The carefree and joyous time as well as the complete vicissitudes and devastation in later times constantly overlapped in front of my eyes, stabbing me almost to tears.


The tree on the river bend when I was four in that summer, how can I not recall you?


叫我如何不想你

我甚至不敢确信,那是实实在在存在过的,抑或仅是我童年的一场迷梦。

---题记


四岁的夏天。 


        妈妈带着我回到了她的老家,一座座落在安徽某一不知名河湾旁的村庄。颠簸了一路,我从拖拉机上下来;首先入眼的是家门前的一棵大树。我不知道它的品类,只记得它粗壮遒劲,翠盖亭亭。似乎极其苍老了,可依然显得风华正茂。

        大树底下的凉阴是年幼的我最爱待的地方。怕我寂寞,妈妈还拿了一块废旧的搓衣板,用一条长麻绳挂在树干上,容我当秋千玩儿。我喜欢坐在上面,看着鸡、鸭、鹅在脚边觅食;大人们看到我,即便劳作得很辛苦,也会露出慈爱和蔼的笑容来。

        每天早上,都有一个头发花白的老妇人提着篮子来挨家挨户地卖鱼,鱼并不很大,却很新鲜,大家总会买上几条。傍晚,鸟儿归巢,家家户户都升起袅袅炊烟。有时,我们一家子人就坐在树下,一边纳凉吃饭,一边谈天说地。老树站在那里,一言不发,只默默地,投下一片绿荫。

    有一天,大人们在屋后围成一圈。我凑过去,正看到妈妈举着斧子在砍另一棵同样高大的桃树。这是妈妈儿时亲手种下的,可它已经太老了,老得再也结不出桃子了。人们嫌它太过高大碍路。我看到,生长了三十年的树轰然倒地,大家一阵喝彩---终于,除掉了这碍眼的东西。

        快要入秋,开始落叶的大树终于显出一丝老态,我也该走了。临行时,我摆弄着挂秋千的绳子,怀揣着些缘由未明的惶惶。

过了许多年,我一直住在广州,再没回过刘河湾村。只是有忆及,那树底下欢乐无忧的时光。

十四岁的清明。

    妈妈又一次带我回到她的家乡。存着对童年的怀想,我分外激动与期待---那成群的鸡鸭,如今怎么样了?卖鱼的婆婆,可还健在?还有,还有---那棵老树,那晃荡的秋千……

我坐着车进村---路已经宽敞平坦多了,屋子,是哪一座呢?下了车,我举目四顾,有些茫然。长辈们指给了我面前的那一座,与记忆里的画面并不尽相同,我有些迷惑---啊,对了,那棵树!老树呢?长辈们摆摆手,它呀,早砍了,挡了屋里的光。说得云淡风轻,可我却不甘心地在村里走着,企图寻找童年的痕迹,却发现---稻田已变成荒芜,鸡鸭鹅的踪迹遍寻全村也没再觅得,村子里了无人烟,一片死寂。倾塌的瓦屋中已长满杂草,却无人问津。我甚至难以想象,在这片土地上有过那样和谐充满人情味儿的欢声笑语,那样岁月静好的安宁…不见了,全都不见了。

    我又回到那棵老树旁---现在,留下的只有低矮的一截木桩。看着残存的那么一截,它似乎也不曾有我记忆中那么粗壮。曾经的光辉,也一去不复返。现在,它终于死去了,再也不能遮住阳光。就像这座村庄,也终挡不住人们迁往城市的步伐,几乎名存实亡。

我常住在花城,一座四季如春的城市。道路两侧榕树常年成荫,而在我眼里,“除却巫山不是云”,那无忧欢乐的时光与后来的满目沧桑疮痍在眼前不断重叠,刺得我几乎要流出泪来。

        四岁夏日里河湾的树,你叫我,如何不想你……



                       高一5 王美茜(新西兰)


                    翻译:高一5班 英语教师 方媛

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