scent of wild grass

April 12, 2014
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Brought into the car, lethargically, I was not sure where we were aiming. The only thing I know was the smell of fish mixed with that of soil, permeating the car windows, jostling, fighting, and heading towards every direction in the car. I was awakened by that smell. What intruded into my sight was a white thread rushing towards the direction we were from beneath the ice. It was Huang River, which hibernated and breathed slowly and smoothly with smoke swirling over it in the azure sky.

It was not until I went out of the car that I found tens of holes on the ice, with fishing allures through them and people sitting nearby on the road.

A smile loomed on my face and I put my feet onto the docile monster. Only seconds later did I realize that I was in the water. Something soft took the place of the chill crude ice, sky disappeared and I was able to get neither the smell of fish nor that of soil.

Again was the smell of soil and fish left on my trip along the way back. The only thing different was the sound, cries and calls.

I first felt the real world because of the pain on my body. Flames leaned and fell back, leaving the sudden swelter stinging on my skin. Someone muffled the fire and used snow as emollient to render my blood circulating.
I found myself in a temple. The odor of goat turd permeated the air.

Finding me conscious, my mom, while belaboring, took a brown piece of Mantou?a kind of Chinese food? from the fire, handing it to me. Golden took the place of white on it and a sweat smell reeked.

“We brought you to this temple after you were saved,” she finally explained, “and your dad will go fishing alone. It seems as if you cannot distinguish from the shore and river.”

I had planned for a whole week before this trip to go fishing on this hibernating river. I chose my new woolen socks in the mall, comparing the black ones with the gray ones and the Mickey Mouse ones with the Mickey Mouse ones, and confusing myself in the end if there were substantial differences among the different socks. I estimated the number of fish I would be able to gain and picked an appropriate pail to hold it. I dreamed about fishing on the ice even longer before I started to plan. The songs of boat trackers on the Volga River continued echoing in my dreams after I read about the winters of Russia. Fish jumps on the ice when slipping from the hands of fishermen in those dreams, splattering cold water to the faces of those people. Sometimes, I became one of them in my dream.

But finally, joss sticks took the place of fish. I was trapped among four walls instead of roaming under the sky. Disappointed, I spent the whole morning and afternoon sleeping.

It was not until about 5 o’clock that my mom dragged me from the bed, ignoring my impatience.

“It is said we can see stars clearly here. Let’s go and wait for the night. ”

Tens of monks and residents nearby had already sat around the fire on the playground in front of the temple, some singing, some beating time and all immersed in their own world. Mom joined them while I felt embarrassed. However, minutes later, the lively tune brought everything except relaxation. I sang together with them.

The transparent sky became darker and darker when the sun dropped lower and lower. Creamy light of the moon shaded everything: the fire, the temple and the people, and the cheerful voice of songs was shrouded in secrecy. Finally, surrounded by stars, I was leaved under the boundless dark sky. I felt the strong willingness to shout, to cry and to sing aloud because I felt as if no one was around me and nothing could restrain me. I wanted to celebrate my freedom.

I was used to the planning everything beforehand because I wanted to control everything about me. But I sometimes found that the only thing control me was actually my own plans. I prepared a lot to go fishing and I resisted seeing any other possibility of this trip until my mom opened my eyes. I could have lost hundreds of opportunities to find something new because of my bigotry.

I still keep the habit of making plan now but I also enjoy the uncertainty. Fragrance of roses on the big road and the scent of wild grass both attract me a lot.

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