Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Xiao Xi 小思: The Cicada 蟬

        This year, the cicada sings early.  On and off, the sound of cicadas singing is heard, even before azalea blossoms begin to wither and fall.  This past month, from out of the window, the cicada song has turned into an endless chirp-chirping, making us busy people feel bothered.
        One day, from under a tree, I picked up an ailing cicada: its translucent wings folded, its body trembling slightly, and it makes no sound.  Oh, it is that little creature who had, on trees, spent all its time chirp-chirping without end.  So tiny, yet so loud, so very loud throughout the summer.  I then wondered: “Why all that endless nag-nagging?  This is just summertime!”
        My friend said, “Don’t you know?  It has to wait for seventeen years for the coming of summer, and for the cicada, there is only this one summer!  From soil and dirt it emerges, from nymph to adult it has grown; yet, once the autumn winds begin to blow, its life will come to an end.”
        Seventeen years buried in the ground, emerging to live for only one summer.  Oh!  Why so?
        The friend said, “The journey of life is inherently so.  For life to go on and on, to propagate, one must live, live on, and live well.  Be it a journey of ninety years or just ninety days, one must have lived it well.”
        Ah, this is the cicada’s meaning of life!
        In the slanting sun, I think of the hue of autumn with its winds, and that bothersome nag-nagging, chirp-chirping is all forgiven!        

今年,蟬鳴得早。杜鵑花還沒零落,就說聽見斷續的蟬聲了。近月來,窗外的蟬更  知知不休,使事忙的人聽了很煩。







Translated by Rita Wong  黃潘明珠
30.1.2016 (revised 1.2.16)

Notes: Xiao Si 小思 see Lu Weiluan at CUHK Library Hong Kong Literature Database Writers Profile

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