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Taste the Wind (品位寒风)

(2007-01-28 02:56:17)
分类: 英语美文
  Taste the Wind
…and savor the sweetness of spring


By Terry Miller Shannon from Reader’s Digest

There’s a word for this rainy winter day. That word is sullen. It describes the lead-gray sky pressing down upon us. It describes the fire smoldering in the hearth, mysteriously seeming to suck every bit of warmth out of the bleak, dank room.

But most of all it describes my spirit. I stare longingly out the window at the frost-wilted princess tree, and at the bare brown flower beds. Not so very long ago I was outside in the sunshine, inhaling the fragrance of rosemary and lavender, and picking a nosegay of penstemon and anemone. My mind remembers it, but my heart has forgotten it.

The rank smell of rotting garbage yanks me rudely into the kitchen. A milk carton, heaped with browning banana peels, onionskins and broccoli ends, reproaches me.

Last summer, the one I’m struggling to recall, my husband built me my heart’s desire: a compost bin. I delighted in my daily trip down the hill to dump the refuse on the pile.

But that was then, this is now. Now the wind slashes rain against the windows. I shiver. I don’t want to go out. But one thing is plain (and I may embroider it on a sampler): the compost pile waits for no woman.

Reluctantly I gear up in a hooded rainproof coat and heavy black boots. Snatching the milk carton, I shut the door behind me, a little harder than necessary.

The wet slaps my face like the tail of a fish. It steals my breath. I gasp and pull my hood so low over my eyes that I can barely see, and slip and stumble down the driveway. My garbage spills, and I crouch, buffeted by the lashing storm.

And there, not two feet from me, is a yellow crocus, and behind it, a purple one, each satin tube swelling and preparing to open. Deep, deep within me I feel a similar softening. I glance up to see an iridescent-green hummingbird hunkered down a fir branch, sheltered against the tree’s trunk. He doesn’t seem as surprised to see me as I am to see him.

I fling my waste on the compost pile. On the way back up the hill, I taste the sweetness of the sharp, sodden wind.
Tender green daffodil leaves poke through the grass, some even showing yellow buds. The blossom of one azure dwarf iris reflects the summer sky present only in my imagination. A maroon-and-orange salamander stalks across my path—a miniature dinosaur on a mission.

Back at the front door, I stop with the cold doorknob clutched in my even colder fist. Why go in? I certainly couldn’t get any wetter.

So I slosh through the yard, leaning against the wind and discovering more joys: a witch hazel sporting pale-yellow pompom-like blossoms, with a brisk citrusy scent. Dark-eyed juncos feasting at the suet cake. The tiniest unfurling of pale green at the tips of the alder trees’ branches. One lone azalea blooming brilliant red against the gray.
A jay scolds me shrilly from high within the wildly whipping branches of a cedar. “What are you looking at?” he seems to ask. “What’s there to see?”

This is what I see, I tell him silently. I see winter on the wane, slowly counting down to spring. I see that I will, someday, kneel again in my flower bed with a shawl of sunshine upon my shoulders and the scent of rosemary so sharp I taste it. I see sprouting, crawling, flying life, undeterred by weather.

But mostly what I see is that there’s glory to be found even in a sullen winter’s day.
品味寒风——细辨那春天的芬芳

苔瑞"米勒"香侬 著
邹红云 译

如此淫雨霏霏的冬日,可用一个词来表述,这便是“阴晦”。它描绘出了这样的景象:铅灰色的天直压头顶;壁炉中的火在闷烧,诡秘地似乎要将这惨淡而阴冷的房间里的每一丝温暖都吸走。

然而,最主要的是,这个词描绘出了我的心绪。我凝望着窗外被冰霜压弯了枝条的泡桐,还有那些光秃秃呈褐色的花坛,心中充满着企盼。没多久以前,我还在外面阳光下呼吸着迷迭香和薰衣草的芬芳,采摘起一束钓钟柳和银莲花。我的头脑还记得此事,可我的心已将之遗忘了。

腐烂的垃圾那股难闻的气味毫不留情地将我拽进厨房。一只装牛奶的纸盒,里面堆满了正在变黑的香蕉皮、洋葱皮和西兰花蒂,在那里责怪着我。

这个夏天,丈夫给我做了个堆肥箱,这是我一直想要的。我努力地回忆着。那时,我每天心情愉快地走下山坡,将厨房垃圾倾倒在肥堆上。

但彼时归彼时,此时是此时。此刻,风夹带着雨鞭打着窗户。我颤抖,我不想出门。但有一事是最明白不过的(我可以将它绣在刺绣样本上):堆肥不等人。

我勉勉强强地穿上带兜帽的防雨外套和沉重的黑雨靴,全副武装。然后抓起牛奶盒,摔上了门。

雨如鱼尾般拍打着我的脸,让我透不过气来。我喘着粗气,将帽沿拉得很低,差不多罩住了眼睛,这使我几乎什么都看不到,我一路打着滑,踉踉跄跄地走下车道。手中的垃圾洒了出来,我猫下腰,承受着狂风暴雨的抽打。

在那儿,离我不到二英尺的地方有一朵黄色的番红花,再往前,又一朵紫色的,各自花萼下面光滑如缎子的花管都鼓了起来,正含苞待放。 我的内心深处涌起了一股同样的柔情。

我抬起头,瞥见一只绿莹莹的蜂鸟落在一棵毛榉树枝上,凭借树干避着风雨。它瞧见我,似乎并不象我看见它那样吃惊。

我将垃圾扔在肥堆上。上山回来的路上,我品味着刺骨、湿润的寒风中那股芬芳。

嫩绿色的水仙花叶子从草地上冒出来了,有一些甚至已经展露花苞。 天蓝色的短鸢尾花令我想起如今只留存于想象中的夏日晴空。 一条带有栗色和橘红色花纹的蝾螈悄悄地横穿我前面的路,酷似一身负使命的微型恐龙。

回到前门口,冰凉的门把手攥在我那更加冰凉的手心里,我站住了。为何现在要进屋呢? 我自然不会淋得更湿了。

于是我噼噼啪啪地走过庭院,冒着寒风俯下身子,发现了更多令人欣喜的东西:一棵金缕梅绽放出淡黄色绒球状的花,散发着浓郁的柠檬香味; 几只黑眼睛的灯芯草雀正在享用一块板油蛋糕; 桤树枝头露出点点新绿; 一株孤零零的杜鹃花在灰蒙蒙的天空下怒放着鲜红的花朵。

一只松鸦从一棵正在狂舞的雪松高处尖声地责备着我。“你在看什么?”它似乎在这样问,“有什么好看的?”

我默默地告诉它,这就是我看到的东西: 我看到冬天渐渐过去,春天慢慢到来。我看到有一天我将又能够跪在花坛边,阳光洒在我的肩上,迷迭香散发着浓郁的芬芳。我看到抽芽的、爬行的、飞翔的各种生命,并不为天气所阻。

然而,最主要的是,我看到了,即便是阴晦的冬日也有其动人之处。


(邹红云,中国科学技术大学外语系)

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