The Autumn wind blew across me in the early morning. It touched my hands, my face and my chest. I shivered and tightened my clothes. Though it was early autumn I felt it was as cold as a late winter day. My house, the flowers, the grass, the trees and even a pebble occupied my mind. They resisted my steps. I hesitated to leave my village, my home.
I walked down the path with heavy steps. I could not help but to return back to the house. It seemed older than before. Bricks had been torn out and it had lost it’s colour. This was the result of years of erosion by wind and rain. But was my leaving the most important cause of the ageing? The old, experienced house protested on in silence. It seemed to warn me that there would be strong wind and rain outside, and that no one would protect me from their attack.
I said sorry inside my heart. I must go. I wanted to see the outside world, I wanted to enrich myself, I want to be independent. I continued my journey. Small wild autumn daisies were blooming at the side of the path. They, the recluses, the retired scholars in the hills felt sorry about my leaving since they were losing my companionship. They bloomed with unhappiness, a deep hurt inside their hearts.
I avoided looking at their faces and sped up. I was afraid that they would retain me. I came across a stream that was flowing to paddy fields.
I could hear the sound when water hit rocks and barriers in the stream. The sound was no longer a beautiful and nice song. It was a crying voice. It seemed to persuade me not to leave. I attempted to comfort her but the crying became louder and louder. I could not tolerate it. I used my hands to cover my ears and ran over the stone bridge quickly. I had to resist the crying, escape from the faces of the house and the daisies and everything in the village. Finally I reached the bus stop. I dashed into the bus.
The bus started. I couldn’t help looking through the window. The wind breezed through the paddy field. It caused wave after wave. The paddy plants moved up and down. Were they waving to say goodbye to me? The waves became smaller and smaller gradually and tears blurred my sight.
~Doris Cheung Yim (Hong Kong)
Return to The Journey: Poems and Stories about Innocence and Experience (Asian Voices)