The Starbridge Over China And Other Essays – Part 3

The final essay from "The Starbridge Over China" collection...

By Elaine Jiang,蒋绎藟

The Three Gorges

Content 6+ The last lesson on Monday afternoon is Chinese. In this Monday’s Chinese class, our teacher taught us a poem written by Li Daoyuan – a great poet in ancient China. He wrote about a famous view in southwest China – the Three Gorges. Listening to the teacher’s slow and soft voice, I fell into a trance…

Large rocks and countless mountains by the sides of a wide river – that’s probably what the Three Gorges are famous for. Wearing white clouds as their hats, tall mountains are standing in lines. Sunlight has been squeezed out between the slim cracks of rocks. At midnight, the big round moon appears above the peaks of the mountains. Moonlight seems like a silver overcoat for the river. As the breeze flows, gentle waves pat the coast and cool down the pebbles.

In the mid-summer, water rises and runs up the hills. Fishermen row their boats on the river and sing loudly with their clarion throats. Through the clear water, the small rocks and fishes can be seen easily. The turquoise river sends the boats gliding forward as paddles row rhythmically. There is a big boat sailing at top speed – maybe that’s the one used to convey the emperor on his urgent state exigencies. For these boats, they have to finish the journey over the Three Gorges in one day. That’s why they always speed on the river as fast as bullets.

During spring or winter time, there are white waves pushing each other in the greenish lakes which are full of aquatic plants. The reflection of bushes and trees can be seen in ponds. From the peak of the mountains, waterfalls pour down onto and into the river. Clear water, flourishing trees, steep cliffs, lively grass – these are the marks of the Three Gorges’ early spring. This is my China.

Each time after a shower or a brief snow, forests and streams turn into a quiet painting. The only noise might be the cries of monkeys and the several chirps of birds. In the valley, the sounds made by these common yet always mysterious creatures awaken a sad and lonely piece of music. Sometimes, there is an old fisher rowing his boat alone in the long but empty valley. With a bamboo stick in his hand, wearing a hay-made hat and coat, he sings freely with a hoarse voice…

“Are you daydreaming, Elaine?” My friend Peter patted me on the shoulder. Oh, the Chinese class ended. I woke up from my imaginations in my classmates’ laughter and shouting. The old fisherman’s figure slowly disappeared in my mind as well.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.