Spring I

I heard something twittering on the balcony.

Walking on my tiptoe, I reached the window, through which I spotted a turtle dove standing on the stainless-steel-made railing, with a sprig in its beak. Barely had I observed it attentively when it hastily fled away, leaving behind a fuzzy silhouette.

I was leaning on the windowsill, looking down, when a ball of white captivated me, which I instantly recognized as peach blossoms. Bathed in radiant sunlight, they stretched their exquisite bodies in all directions. The balmy breeze gently swayed the flowers, carrying the scent they exuded wherever it passed. Eventually here came the spring. As I was about to return to my room, my eyes rested on a half-finished bird nest that lay on the board put on the railings.

It was unbelievable that the dove was planning to build a nest on our balcony. Yet this was the case. What’s more, I witnessed two doves erecting their lovely home together. Before long, a complete nest came out.

I could see in the mild twilight, a tiny nest lying steadily behind the huge flower pots, and an adorable dove perching on the nest. The setting sun cast its silky beams on this little cute creature through the verdant plants in the pots, resembling a warm hand patting tenderly. This tranquil scene was set off by the distant golden horizon, which formed the most enchanting landscape in the world. I could picture that under its little body, eggs were being warmed up, and new life was being brewed.

But we all know that good times do not last long, which I grasped on that drizzly evening when the dove had gone away and had not returned.

I stared at the empty nest vacantly, a sense of loss welling up in my heart. There lay the sole egg placidly, reflecting the cold light which the moon shed on the earth. Why didn’t the dove return? Maybe, I unintentionally frightened it, or, it had found a superior habitat. But, did it desert its cherished egg? On this fairly chilly rainy night, where could it go? Would it be shivering all over in the freezing wind? As the moonlight suffused the ground, I perceived that, never would I know the answer.

I leaned on the windowsill, overlooking the swaying flowers. I could hear raindrops knocking the canopy, composing a rumpled melody agitating my thoughts. I could see them trickling down the eaves, descending, sinking into puddles, feebly splattering a spray of droplets. Also I could hear the moaning wind dashing through the alley, wildly rattling loose windows and doors. I could see it wobbling the leaves furiously, severing them from branches and tugging them down. But, in the meantime, I could see the blossoms that the tree threw up in the air, being hit by the rain and being swung by the wind, while they kept emanating aroma that wafted all around. I could see the myriad scattered petals which fell on the moist tarmac, all colors draining rapidly, yet somehow, they were peculiarly appealing with the lamplight flickering in dewdrops.

It suddenly occurred to me that, unlike what I considered before, what was called spring, was not a picture in a particular style. It not only meant arrival and growth, but also meant departure and wilting to some extent.

So the spring is not all about a couple of turtle doves who are busy constructing a cozy neat twiggy nest where the new life will be brought, nor about the pale pink blossoms that bloom wherever you behold, adorning the corner of the bright blue sky. The essence of the spring lies in the persistence that the doves possess, even if they get so close to human beings and lose one of the only two eggs. It lies in the patience with which the dove squats in its nest unceasingly, awaiting the arrival of the baby, no matter the icy drizzle and the roaring gale. It lies in the optimism which encourages the blossoms to bloom vigorously in the frigid sprinkle. It lies in the devotion of the blossoms as they make the world transfigured despite the adversity they are confronted with.

I lingered on the balcony, hearkening wind and rain, dismay dissipating gradually. And here came the spring. I could sense that, distinctly.