An Unlucky Bench
Since 2008, I have always spent six months living in the States and the other six months per year back home in China. This time, when I came back from the States, I suddenly realized that, on the right side of the garden in my court, a long wooden bench with a backrest under a tree was vacant all the time.
That day, after exercising on the fitness equipment, I took a seat on that long bench. To my surprise, Sister Wang, a warmhearted neighbour, came to pull me up. “Don’t sit here.” She told me mysteriously while covering half of her mouth with her palm.
“Why?” I asked.
“Do you know Big Zhang who used to sit here?” Sister Wang whispered to me. “Yes. What’s the matter?”
“Two days before you came back, he died on the bench where you just sat.” “Wasn’t he a man of strong build?” “Yes, but he passed away all of a sudden. Even though he was amiable and hadn’t contracted any infectious disease, people still feel that his dying on the bench is unlucky.”
Afterwards, Sister Wang took me to the other side of the garden. However, I thought to myself, why would the bench be abandoned after Big Zhang’s death? Death is merely part of the natural process, and what does it have to do with the bench?
Just a few days ago, a new neighbour moved here, and she was pregnant and nearing labor. She came to relax in the coolness at the courtyard garden, and sat on that bench, exactly on the “unlucky” seat. Two days later, she gave birth to a chubby little boy, and both of them were safe and sound.
Gradually, people started to take a seat on that long bench again. As a matter of fact, life and death are equal, which is a philosophy known to us all, yet in real life, people tend to accept life and avoid death. How great it would be if we can have a peaceful mind in bidding farewell to the eternal lives of others.