To find the ideal child

   For more than fifty years, I have taken many detours, wasted a lot of precious time, and often felt the torture of “internal dryness”. But the ideal has never disappeared from my eyes. Sometimes it is far away from me, sometimes it seems to be close to my eyes; sometimes I think I have grasped it, and sometimes I feel empty-handed; sometimes I try my best to run towards it, sometimes I Stop chasing, lose everything. But at any time in front of me, far or near, bright or dark, there is always a light. Whether it’s a fire or a lamp, it will always show me the way as long as I keep my mind on it.
   The glorious ideal washes away the grime from my heart like clear water, and the fire of loving life and light is ignited in my heart again. The fire doesn’t go out, and I don’t feel “dry inside.”

   When we entered the mountain, the sky was clear, but when we got to the mountain, the sky was overcast. The trees are tall, the grass is deep, and I can’t tell the difference between north and south.
   That day, I went into the mountain to interview the “Old Man Hushan”. The old man is a veteran. He planted and watched trees on the mountain and stayed there for 20 years. The forest farm asked him to retire, but he did not want to go down the mountain. What magic made him guard a mountain by himself?
   There are many poplars at the foot of the mountain, Metasequoia at the top, and masson pine at the top of the mountain.
   Watching me light a cigarette, the guide who was with me quickly asked me to pinch the cigarette, because there can be no fire in the mountains. “The old man can smell the smoke. If he finds out, he will drive us down the mountain.”
   I really don’t know where the old man is. The guide said that the old man had three “homes” in different places on the mountain, all of which were just stone houses, and the old man would not stay in the house during the day. I’m worried this interview will come to nothing.
   The mountain road is difficult, uneven, and there are many vines. Every step we take, we have to lift our legs very high.
   Sure enough. We did not find the old man in the two “homes” of the old man. The guide said, let’s rest for a while at the mountainside. We sat down and drank some water, and I was drowsy leaning against a tree. Suddenly, a clear “March of the People’s Liberation Army” floated into my ears, and at first I thought it was a dream.
   “Look!” The guide’s eyes were sharp, and he found the old man in the open area on the slope not far away.
   The old man is not far from us, more than ten meters away, but separated by a tree, I didn’t notice it for a while.
   The old man’s uniform has turned white. What surprised me was that the old man was carrying a wooden stick and was walking straight to the music on the radio on the ground!
   Raise your head, hold your chest out, kick your legs… God, the old man is holding a “parade” to the music alone!
   I set up the camera secretly. I did not disturb the old man. My “candid shooting” went well, and “one person’s military parade” became the most brilliant scene.
   At the end of the interview, I asked the old man: “You are constantly shouting slogans, who will listen?”
   “Relieve the boredom.” The old man straightened the corner of his clothes and said, “The first camp, the second camp, and the third camp all listen to me.” The old man smiled, as innocent as a child. The wind was rustling, and the leaves rustled as if they were having fun with him.
   Only then did I remember the words “First Camp” and “Second Camp” written on the trees and wooden signs by the roadside. The guide laughed and said that in the mountains, the trees he planted were all soldiers in his “battalion”, and he was the “battalion commander”.
   No wonder the old man is so attached to this forest. I was shocked.
   That day is National Day. Fast forward ten years. These days, every time I see the scene of the National Day military parade on TV, I think of the old man Hushan, and of his military parade alone. When this year’s (2019) National Day military parade comes, the veteran who cares about the motherland is walking on the mountain or in front of his TV? Also, the “fighters” in his “battalion” must be full of energy and green.

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