散文翻译:Ken Weber – A Gift for Mother’s Day

    摘要

    母亲节的礼物

    2021年母亲节

    A Gift for Mother’s Day

    Ken Weber

     

    The family had just moved to Rhode Island, and the young woman was feeling a little melancholy on that Sunday in May. After all, it was Mother’s Day – and 800 miles separated her from her parents in Ohio.

     

    She had called her mother that morning to wish her a happy Mother’s Day, and her mother had mentioned how colorful the yard was now that spring had arrived. As they talked, the younger woman could almost smell the tantalizing aroma of purple lilacs hanging on the big bush outside her parents’ back door.

     

    Later, when she mentioned to her husband how she missed those lilacs, he popped up from his chair. “I know where we can find you all you want,” he said. “Get the kids and c’mon.”

     

    So off they went, driving the country roads of northern Rhode Island on the kind of day only mid-May can produce: sparkling sunshine, unclouded azure skies and vibrant newness of the green growing all around. They went past small villages and burgeoning housing developments, past abandoned apple orchards, back to where trees and brush have devoured old homesteads.

     

    Where they stopped, dense thickets of cedars and junipers and scrub birch crowded the roadway on both sides. There wasn’t a lilac bush in sight.

     

    “Come with me,” the man said. “Over that hill is an old cellar hole, from somebody’s farm of years ago, and there are lilacs all round it. The man who owns this land said I could poke around here anytime. I’m sure he won’t mind if we pick a few lilacs.”

     

    Before they got halfway up the hill, the fragrance of the lilacs drifted down to them, and the kids started running. Soon, the mother began running, too, until she reached the top.

     

    There, far from view of passing motorists and hidden from encroaching civilization, were the towering lilacs bushes, so laden with the huge, cone-shaped flower clusters that they almost bent double. With a smile, the young woman rushed up to the nearest bush and buried her face in the flowers, drinking in the fragrance and the memories it recalled.

     

    While the man examined the cellar hole and tried to explain to the children what the house must have looked like, the woman drifted among the lilacs. Carefully, she chose a sprig here, another one there, and clipped them with her husband’s pocket knife. She was in no hurry relishing each blossom as a rare and delicate treasure.

     

    Finally, though, they returned to their car for the trip home. While the kids chattered and the man drove, the woman sat smiling, surrounded by her flowers, a faraway look in her eyes.

     

    When they were within three miles of home, she suddenly shouted to her husband, “Stop the car. Stop right here!”

     

    The man slammed on the brakes. Before he could ask her why she wanted to stop, the woman was out of the car and hurrying up a nearby grassy slope with the lilacs still in her arms.

     

    At the top of the hill was a nursing home and, because it was such a beautiful spring day, the patients were outdoors strolling with relatives or sitting on the porch.

     

    The young woman went to the end of the porch, where an elderly patient was sitting in her wheelchair, alone, head bowed, her back to most of the others. Across the porch railing went the flowers, into the lap of the old woman. She lifted her head, and smiled.

     

    For a few moments, the two women chatted, both aglow with happiness, and then the young woman turned and ran back to her family.

     

    As the car pulled away, the woman in the wheelchair waved, and clutched the lilacs.

     

    “Mom,” the kids asked, “who was that? Why did you give her our flowers? Is she somebody’s mother?”

     

    The mother said she didn’t know the old woman. But it was Mother’s Day, and she seemed so alone, and who wouldn’t be cheered by flowers? “Besides,” she added, “I have all of you, and I still have my mother, even if she is far away. That woman needed those flowers more than I did.”

     

    This satisfied the kids, but not the husband. The next day he purchased half a dozen young lilacs bushes and planted them around their yard, and several times since then he has added more.

     

    I know. I was that man. The young mother was, and is, my wife.

     

    Now, every May, our own yard is redolent with lilacs. Every Mother’s Day our kids gather purple bouquets. And every year I remember that smile on a lonely old woman’s face, and the kindness that put the smile there.

     

    母亲节的礼物

    肯·韦博

     

    那家人刚搬到罗得岛州不久,在五月的第二个星期天,年轻的女主人正感到一丝忧郁。那天毕竟是母亲节——可八百英里山水却让她和住在俄亥俄州的父母天各一方。

     

    她一大早就给母亲通了电话,祝她母亲节快乐。母亲在电话中告诉她,此时老家院子里是如何姹紫嫣红,因为春天已来临。与母亲通话时,她似乎又闻到了父母房子后门外那一大丛紫丁香散发的撩人香气。

     

    上午晚些时候,她对丈夫说起她很想念那些丁香花。丈夫腾地从椅子上一跃而起,冲口说道:“我知道哪儿能找到你想要的丁香,带上孩子们,咱们一块儿去。”

     

    于是一家人出发了,汽车在罗得岛北部乡村公路上飞奔。那是个只有在五月中旬才会遇上的好天气,阳光灿烂,万里无云,天空碧蓝,公路两侧刚抽新绿的树枝在风中摇曳。他们驶过一座座小小的乡镇,经过一片片新的社区,穿过一个个废弃的苹果园,来到了已被树木和灌丛吞没的过去的宅居地。

     

    在他们停车的地方,只见雪松、刺柏和低矮的桦树沿路边森然葳蕤,可连一丛丁香的影子也没看到。

     

    “跟我来,”丈夫对妻子和孩子们说,“那边小山上有个废地窖,是多年前一家农场留下的,地窖口周围长满了丁香树。农场主人曾对我说过,我啥时候都可以来这儿逛逛。我敢保证,他不会介意我们采几束丁香花的。”

     

    一家人还没爬到半山腰,丁香花的香气已从山顶飘来,孩子们开始跑步上山,年轻的母亲随后也开始跑步,并一口气跑上山顶。

     

    山顶上,远离驾车游客的视野,避开了现代文明的侵扰,一株株紫丁香高高耸立,一树树繁花沉甸甸的,大团大团的圆锥形花簇压弯了枝头。带着满面笑容,年轻的母亲冲向最近的一丛花,把脸深深埋进花簇之中,啜饮花儿的芳香,陶醉于花香唤起的记忆。

     

    当丈夫一边查看地窖口,一边试图跟孩子们描述当年那座房子是什么模样时,年轻的母亲则在丁香树丛间飘游,这儿挑中一枝,那儿选中一桠,用丈夫给她的一把折刀,小心翼翼地将花枝削下。她从容而恬然地欣赏着每一簇花,仿佛在欣赏什么稀世珍品。

     

    但是,一家人最后还是折返到停车的地方,驱车驶上了回家的路。一路上孩子们叽叽喳喳说个没完,丈夫专心开着车,年轻的妻子则拥花而坐,面带微笑,眼中流露出一种恍惚的神情。

     

    当他们离家还有三英里的时候,妻子突然对丈夫大声喊道:“停车!就停这儿!”

     

    丈夫猛地刹住车,还来不及问她为何叫停,她已开门下车,匆匆跑上了路边一道长满青草的斜坡,手中仍抱着那一大簇丁香花。

     

    坡顶上有座疗养院,在那么美好的春日里,患者和疗养者都来到了室外,有的在亲属陪伴下散步,有的则坐在门廊上。

     

    年轻的母亲直奔到门廊尽头,那儿有一位老妇人坐在轮椅中,孤孤单单,耷拉着头,背对着疗养院的其他人。突然,一大簇丁香花越过门廊栏杆,放到了那位老妇人膝上。她抬起头,露出了微笑。

     

    那两个女人闲聊了一会儿,两张脸上都泛起了幸福的红晕。然后那年轻女人转过身,跑向她的家人。

     

    汽车重新启动时,轮椅中的老妇人一手向他们挥舞,一手紧抱着那簇花。

     

    “妈妈,”孩子们好奇地问,“她是谁?你干吗把咱们的花儿给她呢?难道她是什么人的妈妈?”

     

    年轻的母亲对孩子们说:“我并不认识那位老妈妈。可今天是母亲节,她看上去却那么孤单,有谁看见花儿会不高兴呢?再说了,我有你们在身边,我还有自己的妈妈,尽管她离得很远。那位老妈妈比我更需要那些花儿。”

     

    母亲的回答让孩子们感到满意,但那位丈夫却感到歉然。第二天他买回好几株丁香花树苗,并将其种在了院子周围。在那之后,他又种过好几次。

     

    我当然知道,我就是那位丈夫。那位年轻的母亲过去和现在都是我妻子。

     

    现在每年五月,我家院子里都会弥漫丁香花的芬芳。每年母亲节那天,我们的孩子都要采撷紫丁香花束。而我每年都会想起那位茕茕老妇脸上的微笑,想到让她微笑的那份爱意。

     

    (曹明伦 译)

    weinxin
    英文巴士公众号
    扫一扫,资讯早。
    • 版权声明 本文源自 英文巴士 整理 发表于 2021年5月9日00:16:20