Birthday Gifts - Timeless Love
It was Saturday, Oct. 14, my thirtieth birthday I woke up early on purpose to "sterilize" my mind before opening birthday gifts which were received in previous week. Standing from my balcony I could see flushes of the morning lights over Manhattan’s beautiful skyline. Under the sky of reddish and light gray hues there was shining reflections leaping from skyscrapers' glass windows across distance. I took a deep breath and went into the living room. I was ready.
Several gifts boxes sat on the coffee table next to couches. My first target was the gift box from my family in China. As I was opening it I was instantly overwhelmed by the intensity of love and care radiating from the senders, my father, my mother, my grandpa and my grandma. There was this splendorous mechanical wrist watch of a world renown brand from my parents, a set of rare ancient books from Song dynasty in its original wooden case from Grandpa, and latest cartoon movie DVDS and video games from Grandma. I was in sort of speechless state because I could imagine how much time, efforts, resources and hearts they put together to assemble this gift box. Smelling the complex notes of ancient printing ink I understood how much the rare book set meant to my grandpa, it must a difficulty decision for him to apart these famous prints he inherited and took tremendous personal risk to protect them from the Red Guards in Culture Revolution. I smiled at these latest cartoon movies and video games given by grandma sensing how much she is still spoiling me ,as my father constant says, her only grandson who , in her memories, was relentlessly soaking in cartoons and games , mimicking the acts from those heroic characters and dreaming to do good deeds when he'd grow up someday. Looking at the genuine gem quality watch I could feel the vibes coming from my parents who are attempting to hint their son to "watch" his time; getting settled down and eventually producing children for them in order to save our "endangered" family tree. To me , behind these thoughtful birthday gifts are people who brought me up with values and virtues they believe strongly. I am so sure that no matter how much I'd accomplish or lose it is them I can truly account on or tap into to get renewals of compassion, respect, honor and courage as sources. What was across my mind was "I love you all and I owe you all".
Birthday without surrounded by family members was definitely tough for anyone, but on the other hands it made me to be grateful for what I have and also enabled me to be stronger. Because I know I am not alone as my love ones are never far away from me.
I put on the new watch; it surely looks great on my wrist. But a bit of sadness immerged from the back of my mind. The old watch is a Longines two toners from a Swiss watch maker. I love that watch because it I was a gift given by my parents at the eve I left China to come to USA and it became my faithful friend since. I used it to keep my time for going to classes, job interviews, work, meeting and to date girls and call home. Now, saying good bye to it seemed signifying to apart my past. The old watch laid on my hands quietly its metal band was somehow worn a little but its face was still immaculate. Am I entering new era? I asked myself. I guess I am.