Lesson 3 祈盼清风

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2012-5-4 10:22

Lesson 3 祈盼清风

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Lesson 3 Waiting for the Breeze

Lie in bed, by an open window, and listen...

“No air conditioning? How can you sleep?“ a friend asks, horrified. I’ve just revealed that my family has decided to shut the air conditioner off and [1] trim our electric bill.

On this first night of our cost-cutting adventure, it’s only 85 degrees. We’re not going to suffer, but the three kids grumble anyway.

“It’s too hot to sleep,“ my 13-year-old daughter moans. “I’m about to die from this heat,“ her brother hollers down the hall. “Just try it tonight,“ I tell them. In truth I’m too tired to argue for long. My face is sweaty, but I lie quietly listening to the cricket choirs outside that remind me of childhood.

I think about Grandma, who lived to 92 and still supervised my mom’s gardening until just a few weeks before she died. And then, I’m back there at her house in the summer heat of my childhood. I move my pillow to the foot of Grandma’s bed and angle my face toward the open window. I [2] flip the pillow, hunting for the cooler side.

Grandma sees me [3] thrashing. “If you’ll just watch for the breeze,“ she says, “you’ll cool off and fall asleep.“ She cranks up the Venetian blinds. I stare at the filmy white curtain, willing it to flutter. Lying still, waiting, I suddenly notice the life outside the window. The bug choruses . Neighbors, porch-sitting late, speak in hazy words with sanded edges that soothe me.

“Mom, did you hear that?“ my seven-year-old blurts. “I think it was an owl family.“

“Probably,“ I tell him. “Just keep listening...“

Without the [4] droning air conditioner, the house is oddly peaceful, and the unfiltered night noises seem close enough to touch. I hope I’m awake tonight when the first breeze sneaks in.

crank v. 转动(曲柄)
Venetian blind 软百叶窗
filmy adj. 朦胧的
flutter  v. 飘动
chorus n. 合唱
hazy  adj. 模糊的
soothe  v. (使)平静
owl  n. 猫头鹰
unfiltered  adj. 未过滤的
sneak  v. 偷偷摸摸地做(事)

窗边静躺,细心聆听……

“不开空调?能睡得着吗?“ 听说家人要为了节电而把家里的空调关掉时,我的朋友一脸惊愕。

在大胆尝试节电的第一天晚上,气温不过华氏85度而已。我们不觉得难受,但三个孩子却抱怨连天。

“太热了!怎么睡啊!“我那十三岁的女儿不停地嘀咕。“我快被熟死了,“她弟弟的牢骚也从客厅的另一头传了过来。我只好说:“今晚就试着忍一忍好吗?“其实我根本没有力气再向他们多作解释。脸上出汗了。我静静地躺着,聆听着窗外蟋蟀的合奏曲,思绪被牵回到了童年的时光。

这时禁不住想起了外婆,她活到92岁,直到去世前的几个星期,她一直都帮助妈妈护理着花园。回到了童年炎热的夏季,回到了外婆的小屋。我把枕头移到奶奶的床尾,脸对着窗。于是我把枕头翻过来,让比较凉的一面朝上。

看到我翻来覆去地睡不着,外婆说:“只要用心去感受和祈盼,风会来的,这样你就可以一身清凉地进入梦乡了。“她把百叶窗拉了起来,于是我便一直注视着朦胧的白窗帘,等待它的飘动。静静地躺着,期盼着,这时我忽然感到了窗外世界的生命。小虫的轻唱,门廊外坐着闲聊的邻居,他们模糊不清的喋喋细语开始催我入眠。

“妈妈,你听到了吗?“我那七岁的孩子嚷嚷了起来,“我觉得那是猫头鹰一家子在叫!“

“很有可能,再仔细听……“

没有了空调机的嗡嗡响,房间里飘溢着一种奇异的祥和气氛,还有未经过滤的,亲近得伸手就可以触摸到的夜声。真的希望,当第一缕清风悄然而至时,我还能够醒着迎接她的到来。

1.trim的本意是“修剪、整理“,如果你种了一棵小树,就要经常地 “trim dead branches off a tree“,“修剪树上的枯枝“;此处的trim当然是和“修剪“无关,而是表示“减少、压缩“,比如说“I’ve trimmed my composition from 1000 words to 500“, 这就是说“我把作文从1000字压缩到500字“。

2. 此处的flip向我们描述了“翻转“ 的动作,如果你看见弟弟在煎鱼,一面已经要“糊“了,而另一面还没熟,就要赶紧吩咐他:“Flip the fish on its back!“(把鱼翻个身);另外我们经常会用投掷硬币的方式,来决定什么事情,flip就可以表达“投掷、轻抛“的概念,比如说“Let’s flip a coin to see who goes first“ (用投硬币的方式决定谁先去)。

3.thrash:辗转反侧、睡不着觉的滋味很让人难受,thrash就是用来形容这种滋味的,如果你心里惦记着心爱的姑娘是否会在第二天答应你的求婚,就可能 “spent most of the night just thrashing around“ (大半夜躺在床上辗转反侧),不过这种滋味是人人都有过啊!

4.此处的drone表示“(空调)嗡翁声“,当然“嗡嗡声“不仅来自“空调“,我们还经常可以听到“Bees are droning among the flowers“(蜜蜂在花丛中嗡嗡叫),“A plane droned overhead“(飞机在头顶上嗡嗡飞过)。

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