The sense of time is easy to be neglected. Meanwhile, it’s the one aspect of reality that people can’t abandon completely. We count the length of life and become older and older out of hand, observe the changing of the seasons, and calculate the annual rings of trees. It seems like sometimes the duration of time progresses slowly, and at other times, it seems to pass quickly like water in my hands. To recall that trip in the hot summer, I can’t believe that ten years have already passed.
It’s the summer after the end of my third grade year. I just cut my hair and was sawed-off, clumsy and a little childish. I lived in Hangzhou with my father, which is a city located in the southeastern part of China. The summers of Hangzhou were rainy, hot and humid, and in my impression, they were charming as well as annoying.
During that summer, my father and I took a train to Shanghai, and then I would take a plane to Dubai alone. My parents were divorced, and later my mom had met my step-father and went to Dubai with him. It was a long way to Dubai from Hangzhou. After she had left, I haven’t seen my mother for years. So, when she asked me if I’d like to spend the summer in Dubai with her, I said yes without hesitation.
To be honest, for me, the trip was not only exciting but also fearful. I was only eleven and had never travelled by myself. However, I am a person who is very stubborn and unyielding, I decided to embark on the journey bravely or at least, I pretended to be brave. Tears filled my eyes when I turned after saying goodbye to my father; I was nervous to death when I was waiting for my next plane in the Singapore airport; even the staff in Dubai’s airport treated me as if I was mute because of my fear to speak my poor English. Despite all of this however, a pleasant freshness still grabbed me tightly and made me breathless. I was absorbed by everything I had seen on the journey; the thick white clouds under the airplane, the bright sunshine that came from heaven, and a small piece of cookie given to me on the plane made me feverish for a long time.
I remembered one night during the flight, darkness engulfed the sky. I was drinking a can of Coke contentedly when all of a sudden; the aircraft began to shake violently, as a leaf in the wind. I couldn’t control my hand and the Coke almost spilled out from the can. The plane was going to crash! I didn’t know anything about airflow, all I thought was that I was about to die! My life was going to end in a few minutes, or so I thought. I think my performance was extremely awful at that time. I was even about to take out a piece of paper and a pen to write my last will. My ears couldn’t receive the comfort from the uncle sitting next to me; my lips were trembling beyond control. There was a voice that kept telling me that “I don’t want to die! I don’t want to die!”
It was the first time that I experienced the frangibility of life, thus this ignorant, juvenile girl realized the irresistible longing for life. Before that day, all I was concerned about was animation, games, activities with friends and lots of trinkets. I had never thought about where I came from or where I would go, or
my attitude to the life I owned.
For me, that “crisis” was a turning point. My ignorance of life had changed into a treasure, and that sunny summer in Dubai was an incredible and amazing gift. Except the dark skin I had gotten, which I didn’t like, I became much more mature and independent. I started to deliberate questions on a deeper-level and love life even more.
Life belongs to us only once. Hold it dear and love it with all your heart.