It was the walnut picking season of the year. I helped my father pick walnuts yesterday. Every falling walnut made different movements when they fell on the rooftop, on the grass, in the ditch and in the baskets on our backs.
We are all like those falling walnuts, that could not decide the starting point by our own, but we could decide our direction through our efforts. There was an old man, he started his life just like the walnuts in the ditch. Everyone calls him Mao Duhuo. He was born in 1955. He had to grow up with the unbearable pain unlike those healthy kids. He was diagnosed with leprosy, and he was forced to leave his beloved family, the place he was born and grew up, he was sent to the leprosy rehab village in Ta-er-ti village in Yanyuan by his mother.
Though I got treatment from the Government medical team every day in the village, most of us had already had different degrees of disabilities, some of us had visible disabilities on four limbs such as distorted legs and hands, nose collapsed or distorted mouth. These were all the aftermath of the disease. Not only the physical pain had been with us all these years, but also the mental torment from stigma and self-inferiority complex.
Every survivor form the disease is a hero. The old man did not give up on himself, he chose to live with dignity. Perhaps this is the tenacity of life, to life with the will like Beethoven -- I will seize fate by the throat; it shall certainly never wholly overcome me.
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger”, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. The old man has gone through “the rebirth of Phoenix Nirvana”. He now his own circle of life, his own friends, neighbours and children. He cultivates in the fields with his friends in springs. The lived They sowed happiness with sweats and lived a self-sufficient life. They met almost every evening under the big “Eucalyptus” and chitchat about everything, from wars in the past to family matters, they chitchat until their mouths dry-up, then followed by board games and chess.
Nowadays, the old man has his own rhythm of life; he no longer feels helpless. He is content with is new life. He always feels that life is happy. As for me, I respect this old man, admire his willpower and spirit; as this old man is invincible!
Cluster 11 Ta-er-ti Village,