Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Stories in TAI / 植標館裡的故事


Some of the Yellow Palm seeds planted two weeks ago keep growing, while the Ivorywood seed cultivated at the same time died. Life comes and goes in a quiet manner in TAI Herbarium. 


   I seem to be rooted to the seat facing the entrance. Last week I decided to keep a sketchbook somewhere in the herbarium. This week I bring with me a set of watercolors and brushes, secretly believing I can keep them in the same locker as well. One of the senior colleagues notice my attempt. She teases me, "You have more and more stuff with you!" Some people take me as the receptionist, and if they happen to be curious about my drawings, we will have a small chat. 


   I don't really know everyone well, but there are some people who warm up to me pretty soon, one of whom is a very nice elderly lady Jane. When she first met me a few weeks ago, she said, "I envy you for still having a lot of time to learn here. I don't know how much time I still have." This week before she leaves, we have such a good time chatting that I decide to share with her what I learned earlier the same day. We even walk out to the garden to take a look at the Rose Wood in the outdoor garden. I can deeply feel her joy of learning and the simple and sincere personalities. 


   Even if I don't raise my head, I can judge who's in my sight based on my limited vision. Also, my hearing becomes keener. At one point, a professor runs out of the herbarium, and then he comes in with a visitor. Next he introduces her to a senior volunteer in a tone full of joy: This is my elder sister. Though I have seen the professor's face, it is hard to imagine him introducing a family member in such a sunny way. 


   Before leaving, I get to hear the second half of the story. The elder sister suffered from a serious illness, but fortunately she made a miraculous recovery. Now she is interested in being a voluntary worker in the herbarium too. 


   On my way home, I can't help thinking back on these stories, whether silent or loud. I realize that my life, though trivial, is a very huge blessing. 

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