The Eter­nal Sunny Place


Special Focus - - Contents - Qiao Ye 乔叶

On a spring af­ter­noon, I came home from work for lunch. See­ing my mother was air­ing her quilts, I was in­spired to air my own.

I car­ried my quilts out in my arms, and aired them at the ends of the clothes­line. Af­ter lunch, I went to work di­rectly.

When I came back in the late af­ter­noon and stepped into the door­way, I was greeted by my quilts still hang­ing there. How­ever, they were in a dif­fer­ent place than they were at noon— they had been moved to the sun­ni­est place. The snowwhite lin­ings of the quilts were gen­tly gilded by the set­ting sun while my mother’s quilts were hang­ing dully and soli­tar­ily at the ends of the clothes­line. On them, the shad­ows of the house were draw­ing their te­dious and in­erratic geo­met­ric pat­terns.

Walk­ing in front of my quilts, I stroked them. They felt warm.

They were warm in­deed, as warm as mother’s palms.

I also touched my mother’s quilts. They felt cool.

They were cool in­deed, as cool as the back of Mother’s hand.

All of a sud­den, a stream of by­gone scenes floated be­fore my eyes: the bed-sheet with the finest qual­ity in my home, the room in the best po­si­tion, the pot­ted flower in its lovely bloom, the most de­li­cious dishes, and even the bowl printed with the most del­i­cate pat­terns— all these were mine, just as the sunny spot where I stood.

I know that all these scenes were pre­pared in­ten­tion­ally by my mother, not just a co­in­ci­dence.

In one’s short yet long life, it might be your friends who can give you joy; it might be your lover who can make you happy; and it might be your ca­reer that can en­rich you. How­ever, it must be your mother who makes you warm and cozy. With the backs of her hands, she shel­ters you from hard­ships as much as pos­si­ble; with her warm palms, she keeps shin­ing on you.

Mother is the eter­nal sunny place. (Trans­la­tion: Qing Run)

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