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Listening to the Rain in the Tiled House and the River in My Hometown: A Nostalgic Essay

The urban precipitation lacks any discernible cadence. It descends from the heavens and undulates with the breeze, akin to a despondent exhalation or a melancholic whimper. Consequently, my thoughts turn towards the countryside’s tiled abodes, attuned to the rain’s symphony!

The tiled dwelling has traversed a considerable distance from its origins in ancient slash-and-burn agriculture. It remains an indelible memory etched deep within the soul, forever carrying a tinge of sorrow and lingering nostalgia.

Weekdays find it perpetually hushed, yet when raindrops commence their steady descent, it begins to whisper to itself.

Observe the diaphanous rain threads, intricately woven in diagonal patterns, gently tapping against the corrugations like scales on a fish. Sometimes they “ding” and at other times “crackle,” layered with precision and artistry, much like a maiden caressing the strings of a piano or a silkworm feasting on mulberry leaves.

Indeed, such a resplendent symphony cannot be heard within a clamorous and bustling locale, as raindrops find no resonance against the weighty steel and concrete.

Slumbering beneath the rain’s melodic patter upon the tiled rooftop is a form of bliss. One can bask in the lingering spring rain, the uninhibited summer downpours, the graceful autumn drizzles, and the serene winter showers. The tiles, it appears, are the rain’s abode, and the rain, its intimate companion.

As widely known, solitude is particularly conspicuous amidst rainfall, and one’s thoughts are prone to wander. The grandeur and tumult of the world, its victories and defeats, must be regarded with equanimity, unfazed by humiliation and disgrace. Our journey through life, akin to falling rain, forever precludes a return to the moments of a mere second ago.

Perhaps, it is not the rain that brings sorrow to the heart, but rather the heart that finds solace in the rain’s melancholy.

Listening to the rain within the tiled dwelling, an impeccable harmony etched in memory.

The river in my birthplace

Time flies, and the constellations shift.

Over the years, I have traversed innumerable paths, traversed countless bridges, and paused to admire endless vistas. Yet, what remains indelibly etched in my mind is the meandering river that graces my hometown.

Devoid of the resolute grandeur of the Yellow River or the majestic visage of the Yangtze, the rivulet in my birthplace flows ceaselessly day and night. Its abundant waters have nurtured every inch of the homeland’s soil for countless years, yielding fragrant rice blossoms and delectable fish and shrimp.

During my childhood, the river flowed serenely, crystal-clear, its shimmering waters reminiscent of myriad twinkling eyes. I recall my mother and neighboring women frequenting the riverbanks to launder garments, draping them over tree branches. There, they would engage in animated conversations, sharing rumors and jests, or confide in hushed tones about familial matters. Accompanied by the symphony of running water, the river brimmed with life. Children frolicked and played in its embrace, capturing fish and shrimp, occasionally releasing a tiny crab, their laughter resonating through the heavens. As dusk settled, and weary herdsmen returned from their toilsome day, cattle, horses, and sheep instinctively congregated by the river to satiate their hunger, cleanse the mud from their bodies, before retiring to their pens.

Yet, the most unforgettable recollection is of winters, when a thick blanket of ice enshrouded the river. The children, unable to contain their excitement, took to the icy canvas. Some wielded whips to spin tops, while others clutched ice skates, their bodies effortlessly gliding across the frozen expanse…

The memories of my childhood remain vivid, undimmed by time.

Through the clamor of the metropolis and the tranquility of the countryside, the rivulet in my birthplace meanders, encompassing my resplendent youth and idyllic childhood.

Though the lens of the photographer has never focused upon you, and the pen of the poet has never extolled your virtues, my attachment to you—the river of my birthplace—remains unwavering!