I love moonlit nights and am also fond of star-strewn sky. Back in the old days, in my home town, when I was in our courtyard enjoying the cool nights of July and August, what I enjoyed most was watching the stars fill the sky. As I watched them, I forgot everything, as though I had returned to my mother’s arms.
Three years ago, in Nanjing, the house I lived in had a back door. Whenever I opened that door at night, I saw a tranquil nighttime view, with a large vegetable garden below, and above, the blue sky densely studded with clusters of stars. Though stars seemed small and weak to the naked eye, the brightness of the starlight seemed ubiquitous. I had been reading about astronomy then and knew about some of the stars, so they were like my friends and would often talk to me.
Now, I am on the sea. Because I gaze at the stars every night, I have come to know them well. Lying on my back on the deck and looking into the sky, I see myriad stars, half-bright and half-dim, hanging in the deep blue sky. The ship moves and they do, too. They look so close to me, as though they are falling! Gradually, my vision blurs. I seem to see innumerable fireflies dancing around me. Night at sea is mellow, tranquil, and dreamy. Looking at the many familiar stars, I seem to see them twinkling at me and seem to hear them whispering. Now, I am completely lost in them. Nestled in their embrace, I smile and fall asleep. I feel like a child, sleeping in my mother’s arms.