Going The Distance

(1) Childhood
I was born in a small county with beautiful mountains and rivers. There was no smoke from factories, no flute like traffic, and no flashing neon in the evening.
I like hide-and-seek in old houses with mud walls mottled in warm winter and cool summer. I like to run on the bright blue slate path after rain. I like to listen to the gurgling water and cicadas in summer on my way home. I like to go up the hill with friends in spring to gather the buckling, stubborn and blooming Yingshan red. I like to lie alone on the cold slate mat in summer night. Looking up at the vast starry sky on the blue curtain, which seems to be near or far away, I let my thoughts drift to the distant, endless, endless…
When I was a child, my whole world was in this quiet and primitive town with quiet years.
I once asked my mother innocently, “Qingcheng is beautiful. Why can’t my father play with me and go to work?”
Mother touched my head lovingly and said in a low voice, “Daddy has to earn money for his baby to read.” I still remember that, at that time, she looked at the winding and rugged road in the distance, and her eyes were so touching with soft, loving light.
Following my mother’s line of sight, I seemed to see my father, who was so inseparable that I kept turning back and waving my hands when I saw him off.
When I was a child, my father’s shadow was far away.
(2) Call from afar
I went to elementary school. Most of them are country dolls like me. We fight together all day long, make our clothes dirty, catch shrimps around crabs in the river, pick cucumbers from uncles and uncles in the ground, and make rabbit ears behind the teacher. These are our favorite things to do.
On a sunny day, a quiet girl with a beautiful face and bent eyebrows laughed in class. She has a lot of things we have never seen before. I don’t know why I always bow my head in front of her. Even my favorite and only red striped dress is vulgar. Unconsciously, we became friends.
She is really a very special girl, without the charm and arrogance of the girls in the city, and soon became a part of us. We climbed the tree together and sat on the tall twisted-necked sycamore branch by the river to chat. From her sweet and pleasant voice, she learned that she came from a beautiful country on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. She was Chinese. This time I came back to help my grandmother in the countryside get a visa and see where my parents lived.
One sunny afternoon, she was leaving. Before leaving, she gave me some conch shells and a beautiful Pearl necklace. She said that all the girls in their house had this. At that moment, something seemed to be sprouting in my heart. I began to yearn for the distant place and the outside world.
In the conch shell I heard far away; the Pearl Necklace strung me far away.
She, in the distance; Dream, in the distance; My heart, in the distance.
(3) Aim to be far away
Life is in a hurry, ten years go by.
I’m already a big girl.
Many things have changed. But my longing for the distance has never changed. Even though my father told me that the distant night was full of temptations, my mother told me that the distant life was full of hardships. But I still yearn for the distant place, hoping to fly freely under the distant blue sky with my strong wings. I will not forget why I started because of the long distance. I will not lose my childlike heart because of the temptation from the distant place, nor will I choose to give up because of the hardship of the distant life.
In order to go to the distant clear back, to stay in the distant heart, to the distant blue sky, I will strive to run forward, do not look back, do not bow.
Far away, wait for me.

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