Bamboo leaves dancing in the wind, little creek accompanies with song. In the depth of the bamboo forest, the flute sounds smooth and melodious.
This is the mountain song of my home. I was able to sing it when I was young. The village of my birth, a very beautiful place, surrounded by layer upon layers of shady green hills, with ebbing of lake water, with endless groves of bamboo. My grandfather, father, and brothers, none of them has ever walked out of this bamboo forest, for generations, they cultivated and plowed, living a peaceful life.
I am the youngest sister. When mother was praying with incense she muttered, Buddha, Please give me a pair of eyes clear like the lake water, with a body of a bamboo leaf. As if Buddha heard it, therefore I came into this world.
I grew up uneventfully, sitting in the large courtyard I split the bamboo sticks into thin strips, weaving them into all sorts of gadgets, grandmother’s fragrant bamboo pillow, brother’s bamboo hat for the intense sun, the bamboo basket in my sister-in-law’s hand, and the little dragonfly for the naughty nephew.
My fame gradually spreads, far and near, all the neighbors ask me to weave things. Under the moonlight I often labor to the depth of the night. With my slender dexterous fingers, soft yellowish bamboos strips shuttle across, each gradually form dainty refined shape. My heart also sings softly with joy.
One day, someone knocks at the door. I open the door, showing half of a face. A young man, he looks at me, in his black eyes, I can see my own clear lake water like eyes, reflecting his.
He smiles, I am a teacher from another village, started a school by the lake. Why don’t you come to class as well? His accent is unusual, very pleasant, like the wind rustling through the bamboo forest, soft and deep. I hurriedly nod, shut the door.
The daylight barely breaks, I am awake. Wearing bamboo green clothing, braiding the black hair into plaits. Step by step, walk towards that little school by the lake. The teacher is standing by the door. From afar, within the morning fog, reveals the long and slender silhouette, clothes astir, oh, my heart , it almost leaps out of chest.
Walking to the front of the teacher, the amiable smile suddenly freezes. I too am frozen. While walking in, heard the teacher’s soft sigh, such a piety, such a little beauty. I do not understand why the teach would say this, is it because my hair not neat, or is the clothing not new?
The teacher teaches us to recognize words, gradually, I can recognize, blue green sky of cloud, earth of yellow leaves, waves of autumn colors, mist over dreamy lake.
When the teach reads in cadence, he often lets us look at colorful prints from a black box, one time, a variety of butterflies, colorfully blinding the eyes, teacher says, butterfly is the condensed soul of a beauty.
That night I returned home, picked out the softest and the smoothest bamboo strips, carefully cutting them hair thin, sitting by the oil lamp, until daybreak. I fell asleep, by my hand is a vivid lively bamboo butterfly.
The teacher accepts this butterfly, carefully holds it in his arm, the lake water like eyes deepens, my heart also undulates.
Suddenly the teacher left, upon returning, an addition of a female teacher, shortened hair, narrowly fitting skirt, and long hose thin like the wings of the cicada. The teacher holding the hand of the female teacher, walking to the front of me, telling her with delight, this is the little cute beauty I told you about. See if I was right?
I saw on the long and white neck of the female teacher, a necklace, on the necklace is a bamboo butterfly. I turn and run off. With one breath I run to the lakeside. In the reflection of the water, I see on my own neck an obvious protruding tumor. My mother, brother, and all the relatives, are all like this. But that female teacher is not like that. She is so
Arriving home, mother kneels in front of the shrine, I ask, can Buddha hear everything? Mother turns her head, smiling and caressing my hair, of course, you are what Buddha granted me.
Deep at night, I finished weaving the last basket, silently kneeling in front of the shrine, gazing at the smiling downcast image of the Buddha. I pray in silence. The image of the eyes of lake water of the teacher flashes across, I pull out the sharp bamboo knife, brutally slashing the tumor on my neck, blood, gushes out. I grab the ash of the incense and paste it on the neck. The elders of the village say this can stop bleeding. But the fresh blood continues to bleed, rapidly stained my green clothing.
The image of the Buddha in front is farther and farther away, almost can see the butterfly fly, can it be, the soul of mine?