第22屆英文散文組佳 作:Living The Past/應英三丁彭上容

作者:彭上容 【Living the Past in the Time of Present】 One day I find myself tired of all the luxury and the convenience of the modern world that is the moment when I noticed the beauty of the past. The city life I have is living in a place that is more artificial than the natural scene I can see. Every time I turn around, all I have seen is surrounding by heartless skyscrapers while the only natural scene is the ocean blue sky. I begin to think that people in the past were living in small houses in a small village. At that time, human’s connection with nature are closer than now. There isn’t any environmental consciousness yet because there is no need to. Human haven’t over-developed yet. The more differences I found between past and present the more I feel like going beyond the limitation of time in order to travel to the past. I am longing to walk in the street of the past for having a chance to try the life of the ancient world. Imaging, I could walk in the street and feel the soil beneath me in stand of the asphalt. Around the village are all one floor wooden buildings. There aren’t any luxurious decorations about the construction which make everything look so simple. Look beyond the houses, there is the forest and the great mountains. Sun shine goes through the trees with birds playing hide-and-seek around the green leaves. I can heard the river flowing and the wind singing every time when I closed my eyes. I can smell the sweet air with the flavor of the nature rather than the smell of air pollution. When looking around, there are people dressing in the old costumes selling things and riders taking their horse going pass. If I could have a chance to jump on a time machine, I could see that beautiful scenery not in the imagination but in the reality. While having this kind of imagination, I often ask myself “Why going back to the past? Why not just go to any ancient world theme amusement park?” This is how I start to think that maybe there is something more about the past which attracts me. It’s not only about the old culture and natural in the past, but also about the special relationship between sworn brothers and sisters. There is a saying that “I could stand through any challenges as long as my friends are by my side” which is similar to people who have their sworn brother or sister by their side in the ancient world which we often read about in the chivalric fiction novel. In ancient China, there were wars and diseases while family was often tore apart. People would find others as company. They swear to be together as brothers or sisters when they are not connected by blood if they are fond of each other very much. This kind of connection is sometimes stronger than blood. They swear never to turn their back on each other and would risk their life if their brother or sister is in danger. This kind of idea is called “Yi” in Chinese which is similar to the personal loyalty in English. It’s kind of hard for us to imagine now when we are often afraid that can our friends be trusted? I am deeply impressed by the idea of “Yi” and make me wonder that if I could have a chance to find my sworn brothers or sisters. While traveling alone, I started to feel like I can not even find a place that I call home. Still, I don’t feel alone because I know that my sworn brothers or sisters will always be with me. We can go through the mountains and travel anywhere we want to. There is some possibility that we might come across some bad guys who try to rub us but we can fight together to defeat them. After all has happened, we can lay under the night sky which covered by incalculable shining stars. The flourishing grass is our bed and feeling the gentle wind goes through our wide traditional clothes. Even in the time of misfortune, there is no need to be afraid because I know there is someone always by my side and can fight through all the challenges with me. What make the past become such unforgettable are the culture and the nature we had. Though there are wars and sorrow, there are also things that shouldn’t be forgotten. People wrote down the life of past to pass to the next generation. They do this for us because what happened in the past is the base of the modern world. All the tradition we had are like the root of the tree and those tradition make our modern world grow flourishing into a big tree. New cultures turn into the new grow leaves. While we forget our tradition like the tree lost its root, the leaves would fall from the tree. At that moment, all the leaves could do is wondering in the wind and couldn’t find a place they belong to. In nowadays, some of our cultures are being twisted like the tree being polluted if we can just jump into the time machine then this kind of misinterpretation won’t be a problem anymore. Not everything in the past is old and useless and none of them should be forgotten. I try to remember my root of culture because of my enthusiasm for the past. I am a Chinese who stand with the culture that is five thousand years old. As a result, I do wish that one day our old culture could shine out again on the land it used to be. When that day comes, it would be the day of my dream can come true. I could have the life as ancient people had in the time of modern world.

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