Someone once said to me, “You have a special and sweet aroma.” I couldn’t remember who said this, and couldn’t understand because I didn’t wear any perfume. Then one day, I went back to WuYi* one last time before I left China. That day, I pulled open the heavy door, and saw my grandmother sitting under the slanted sun. She sat on a wooden chair, with her back facing me, and started to do the laundry. That moment, the familiar aroma suddenly enriched the whole room.
I started wondering, is that fragrant scent the smell of the washing powder or my grandmother, or both? I moved forward; my grandma bent over and put her wrinkled hands into the cold water and kept rubbing the cloth. I sat next to her and watched quietly. The interaction of the water and the movement made a special and melodious sound. Accompanied by those sounds, the scent became richer and richer. Hundreds of bubbles cuddled together; some of them climbed up the side of the big washing tub; some of them floated on the surface of the water like kids that still wanted to play; some of them took each other’s hands and fell on the ground, but most of them made their way to my grandmother's hands.
My grandmother’s hands were gleaming in those bubbles. Her hands were neither as slender and young as my mother’s hands, nor as big and tough as my father’s. Although her hands were rough and wizened, they had they own appeal. Time had slipped by and left its impression on my grandmother’s hands, but like fine wine, the longer people store it, the more valuable it becomes. My grandmother kept rubbing my clothes, and suddenly I understood. Those fragrant aromas combined with love infused into my clothes and live in my heart forever.
“What are you thinking? Yesterday’s clothes were dried and folded on the chair. “Take off your clothes and let me wash them for you,” my grandmother said. I took the T-shirt from the chair and took a deep breath; the aroma made me relax. I sank into thoughts. I could never get this from the washing machine or other people; I could only get it from my grandmother.
*WuYi is the most special place for me because the city is full of people I loved and full of people that loved me.
Ye Tao ‘15