There are so many first times that are worth remembering for a life time: the first day you went to school, the first time you set out for a road trip alone, the first time you confessed your love to the one you loved... However, among myriads of memories, what is the first memory of your life?
- Portrait on the Cover
For me, the earliest memory of my life is so impressive. It was a dark night. I was a little girl who was very afraid of the darkness. But all I could do was crying because I just began to learn how to speak. While I was crying loudly, my father tried to make me fall asleep again. Casually, he gave a book to me as a toy, and hoped that it could distract me from the fear of darkness. At the very next second, amazing thing happened. My cry ceased, because the image on the cover of the book took my heart away in a sudden. I still clearly remember it was a sketchy portrait of an old man. He was so old that wrinkles on his face were like sprawling roots, knitted brows were like symbols of great sorrow. When I grew older, I believed he was a man with wisdom who must have suffered a lot from life. However at that night, for such a young girl like me, the shock that image gave was so impressive but inexplicable that I could never forget.
- Kawabata Yasunari
After I entered primary school and knew how to read and write, I started to look for the book among hundreds of books in my father's study room.
Finally I found it -- a book of selected works by famous Japanese writer Kawabata Yasunari. I read all the novels in it, like Snow Country and The Dancing Girl of Izu. I think it was since then, I found reading interesting and important. All those names in the picture above are my beloved novelist and literature works.
In Chinese culture, there is a traditional rite: parents put various types of things in front of infants, and let the little baby choose and grasp one in hand. Parents believe the choice made by instinct will predict the interest and talent of the baby. For example, if the baby grasp an abacus, he or she will be good at maths and accounting.
- Birthday Gift
Though my parents didn't hold such a rite for me, I believe the first memory of my life indicated my interest like the traditional rite could do.
At the age of seven, my father sent me a collection of 15 books as birthday gift. All the stories were adapted according to extinguish classic novels.
And I see them as the best gift that I ever received so far in my life, because these books open a gate to the kingdom of literature to me.
Since then, I found myself more and more enjoying reading. My father was a bibliophile who had over one thousand books. And in my childhood, father's study was the best place for me to kill my time.
Not only did I find inner-peace while quietly reading alone in my father's study, I also felt proud of knowing stories which most of my peers didn't know. As time goes by, I finally grow up as a quiet and sensitive girl.