A Spring Afternoon

It was cloudy this morning. When noon came, the sky finally cleared out beautifully. After a few days cooped up in the room, we decided to go out.

It was warm outside. The sunlight was pouring down generously; everywhere was shiny and bright. It is Springtime now. You could even tell from the air: fluffy, sweet, and a pleasant willow wind.

When we passed a church, we saw two magnolia trees in bloom. Thousands of flower buds were about to open in the next few days. It was an ocean of pink shades: From dark purple pink, to medium pink, to pale pink, to an almost white color with a slight pink in it. They were in their best season now, like a girl, in her rosy teen years. With the clear blue sky and empty scented street as background, these flowers make you want to cry— for precious youth, for the short life of beauty that is on fire!

We found a bench in the sun and sat down. In this quiet corner, nobody wants to talk. We enjoyed the transparent sheen of sunlight, just as we would a moonlit beach on a Summer night. We had a strange feeling that we are two birds, sitting on a branch and half dozing.

A little white cloud appeared in the west corner of the sky. It kept changing its shape: First it looked like fuzzy cotton candy; soon it got smaller and curved like a spoon; the next is a long and narrow shape; then, gradually, it disappeared. Except for us, maybe nobody knows that this little cloud ever existed, kept changing its shape, and showed its whole life to us until the end.

To fill this emptiness of the sky caused by that little cloud, three sparrows showed up right in front of us, nervously looking around, as if they were expecting something to happen.

Michael started to talk about the far distant places he travelled before: How he caught a tuna from the ocean and cooked it into a wonderful meal; how amazingly that he was celebrated by dolphins at his boat’s sides; how peaceful those nights were when he lived in a small hut with mosquito incense burning; how happy a person could be when living on a high mountain with humid clouds hanging around the window…

Maybe his experience teaches us that there are so many kinds of life in this world; there are a lot of other people living somewhere having their own moments whom we can never have a chance to meet. Are they happy? Are they content with the life that they are living? We don’t know the answer, but surely there are Springs everywhere, they can always watch the sky and the birds, or plant a seed in the soil and wait for it to bud, flower, or fruit. And maybe sometimes they wonder about us, too.    



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