My grandmother is an old rural woman in her 60s and 70s. She has worked hard all her life. I have never seen her stop her work. She wouldn’t enjoy it, and for as long as I can remember, she wore an old-fashioned dark speckled top with a pair of black slacks and low-heeled sandals. Her face was tanned by the sun, her skin was loose, and her eyes dipped through the sewage ditch in front of her hometown.
There was a lychee tree in front of the door, and a pineapple tree in front of it. It was dazzlingly green, but the sun was blazing red outside. She hunched her back, which had never been straightened, and pulled a hoe to cultivate more than a dozen lines in the ground that turned black. Tugou, she doesn’t drink water, she hoes neatly and regularly under the sun. I like to jump in the ground and call her. She gave me the kettle in the dustpan, for fear that I would shout louder than a cicada, or that my mouth would be dry from exhaustion. I jumped out so badly, she also likes to talk about me, holding a stick and raising her palm, five fingers to block the sun, a few deep lines into the palm can’t be seen, I just clap my hands beside me, hiding and laughing .
After finishing the work in the field, she picked up the big basin full of clothes and put it under her elbow. The two arms around the basin were thin and strong, and they could always grab me and take out the candy she had hidden. Put it to me, but her hands were locked by the heavy plastic basin, and her legs could not be seen being pressed by heavy objects, and she walked extremely stably. Not far from the pond, she grabbed her clothes and tossed them into the water, knocking and beating with a wooden stick, and there were foam waves in the water. The sun jumped in the water and it seemed that she couldn’t pierce her eyes. She smiled and told me that she found some interesting insects in the field. I stared at her shriveled lips and a long slit was split open. I squatted beside her and spread out my palm to grab a small handful of washing powder, rubbing and slapping it on my clothes. She was so happy to watch me work, she bent down with a smile, and the wooden stick in her hand passed through her wrinkled hand and put it into my fair and tender little hand.
I don’t like to work, I like to play. I like to take my grandmother to play with me, but she is always working.
The moon is in the sky, the lights in the house are turned on, and everyone else is back. Grandma started cooking and cooking. I helped her make a fire, and she danced with a long spoon, shaking the pot under a small lamp. I propped my chin, her shadow was pulled extremely long by the small light at the door, I looked up at her in the shadow, and envied that those arms were so powerful at all times.
She has worked hard all her life. She took care of her brothers and sisters when she was a child, got married and took care of the elders in the family, gave birth to a child and took care of a group of children, and now has a grandson. She is still dancing her own dance under the sun and the moon, using her arms, her legs.
Unlike the aunts next door, she is quiet and silent. In the evening, everyone used to walk on the stars to chat at home. She sat next to her grandfather, and when she heard something interesting, she echoed a few words and then laughed. Speaking of enjoying herself, she couldn’t sit still, so she got up and went to the kitchen to cook some peanuts. The hollowed-out baskets were all wet and pitted. I love that salty taste and always eat them first. But she was not in a hurry. When the shells on the ground were completely dry, and the red skin and dust were mixed everywhere, she grabbed a small handful, pressed her thumb hard, broke it apart, and ate a few and peeled it for me.
In terms of eating, she likes to eat snacks and hide them, but she gives them to me.
Relatives and friends came to the house, and she was in the kitchen again, hooking her weapon and flames, and a puff of white smoke came out of the crackling. She was the last to be seated, she was the one who ate the most uneasy, and she was the first to respond to every request. The men are drinking and talking about mountains. She used to sit and serve me vegetables.
She has done what a traditional woman does all her life. I haven’t enjoyed it yet, but I’m happy with it.