BaoBao Story | Warmth under the Oil Lamp (Essay)

For some reason, these days, my thoughts have been drifting deeper into the years, and my banging eyes have gone straight into the alleys of my childhood. In the deep alley of memory, a bean-like lamp locked my heart, this is the oil lamp of childhood.

The night in the mountain village is generally still, except for a few barks of dogs, nothing can make the small mountain village move at night. In fact, it’s not right. In the scattered and simple houses, the one that dances the most is a small oil lamp that is the size of a soybean. The small oil lamp shakes the small flame, making the seemingly static life of each household come alive again.

My family lives in the east end of the village. Every day when it gets dark, my mother strikes a match and stirs the wick. The small oil lamp emits a dim yellow light, and the narrow house is faintly visible. The oil lamp is very simple to make. A used ink bottle and a wick of moderate length are filled with kerosene, and a simple small oil lamp is made. Under the oil lamp, while my mother was busy with her work, she always made the boring time happy and interesting. My mother always said to me, “Go do your homework, and when you’re done, my mother will make you a fun paper airplane.” My mother would also say, “I scored 98 points on my homework last time, and I have to work harder to get a good one. If you get a full score, my mother will go to the vegetable field and pick out the ripe melons that are interplanted for you to eat.” My mother’s words made me bring my schoolbag with great interest, move the small oil lamp to the small square table, and lie there. Just go write homework. My sister is a few years older than me and needs to be more sensible. She also came over to do my homework with me, and glanced at my mother, and said solemnly: “Today, my brother’s writing is very neat, and it is much better than mine.” I and I My sister bowed her head and did her homework, but she didn’t dare to breathe loudly, for fear that if she accidentally blew out the small oil lamp, the room would be completely dark. But many times, the small flame of a small oil lamp like a bean has been blown out by me accidentally. My sister and I scrambled to find matches, as if blindfolded. That time a porcelain cow hit the ground and lost a leg, and the mother was not angry. Now that I think about it, I’m really happy.

Under the beating flame of the small oil lamp, the day when I finish my homework is the happiest. My mother made a paper airplane for me. The paper airplane was like a bird with wings, flying back and forth all over the house. I ran from the east to the west of the house, and from the root of the south wall to the root of the north wall, a childlike innocence seemed to be flying, very happy. When I was tired of running around the house, I would play with my sister and play the rope, and my sister agreed very readily. The elder sister took a piece of thin rope loop of moderate length, and hung the rope with the thumb, little finger of the left hand and the little finger of the right hand, and then rotated the rope in the left hand and hung it on the little finger of the right hand. Then use the index finger to pick up the rope on the inside of the little finger, use the middle finger to hook the rope on the middle finger and the ring finger, and the little finger to hook the rope on the inside of the thumb. Finally, put the index finger in the noose, release the thumb, and lift the index finger outwards. The loop turns into a butterfly shape, like a small butterfly with wings ready to fly. When my sister fiddled with her left and right hands, she skillfully transformed a thin rope loop into the shape of a butterfly, and I jumped up with joy as soon as I lifted my foot. When my sister saw that I was in high spirits, she turned the rope ring with her dexterous fingers and turned out a beautiful five-pointed star. The more I looked at it, the more I felt that the childhood under the oil lamp was as beautiful as clouds and happy as fish. Although childhood was simple at that time, the days under the oil lamps were full of endless fun and joy.

My mother sewed the soles of shoes and sewed clothes under the dim light. In order to love me, my mother would make maltose for me under the oil lamp. Although maltose is cumbersome to make, my mother still takes the trouble, like doing a happy thing. The mother soaked the wheat first. When the germination was three or four centimeters long, the mother moved the oil lamp to the front. With the help of the weak light, the malt was chopped up. Then, the glutinous rice was washed and poured into a pot to simmer, and the chopped malt was stirred evenly. . Wait until the juice emerges from the fermentation, then filter the juice out, boil it into a paste with a high fire, and after cooling, it becomes an amber-shaped sugar mass, and the maltose is ready. At first glance, it seems simple, but it is much more cumbersome to operate. My mother often works late at night under the oil lamp. Every step of my mother’s operation, I am inseparable, patiently waiting for my mother to make me maltose. Looking at the finished maltose, I couldn’t help drooling. The mother just cut out a piece, heated it, and stirred it out with a wooden stick, pulling the melted sugar cubes like ramen noodles until they were silvery white and bright. I couldn’t wait to take it and put it in my mouth a little bit, like drinking honey in my heart. The maltose made by my mother, the more you chew, the sweeter it becomes, which is good for satisfying your cravings. I feel that childhood under the oil lamp is sweet and happy, full of colors and flavors.

The times have taken a big step forward, and electric lights, air conditioners, and computers have entered our new life. In the new days, I often turn around and go back to the years to salvage those unforgettable life fragments and memories. Walking into the simple time of the past, the small oil lamp of childhood once gave the small village in the night and the warmth and joy that I could never forget in my childhood.

Source: China Youth Daily Client