November 22, 2010
This week, we have a story written by Gordon Li, from Regina, Saskatchewan. Gordon is originally from China. He began to learn English when he was 30 years old while holding a full-time job and was self-taught. He is a member of the Saskatchewan Literacy Network (SLN) Learners' Focus Committee and the Board of Directors. Gordon believes he has gained much from his experiences with the SLN and the activities of the committee.
The sun was shining. The tree leaves rustled slightly. Birds sang in the trees, cattle in the fields mooed, crickets and insects also chimed in, composing a symphony. It was an enjoyable, natural concert.
I was riding my bike along Lakeshore Boulevard. The breeze pushed me from behind so I almost did not need to pedal. The road was so smooth that it felt like I was floating.
The sky was bright blue, with some white clouds. One was shaped like a Persian cat; others formed a maple leaf. I saw the whole sky as a blue movie screen, the visual display combining with the music of wind, plants, animals and even the moving water to create a natural theatre.
As I parked my bicycle, my attention was caught by the beautiful lake as flat and as bright as a huge blue mirror. The hills on the far side of the lake, dark green only a few weeks ago, were now painted red and brown by nature. The charming scenery was intoxicating as I walked along the unpopulated and peaceful lake shore.
A seagull glided above the lake. Suddenly it swooped down to the water showing its reflection on the water’s surface. The bottom seagull was diving up at the same time the sky gull was swooping.
I was still imagining the seagull feeding its babies when something caught my attention. A black cloud was rising up slowly like smoke from a chimney. I began to feel a slight wind. “A storm is coming!” I realized. I hurried towards my bike. The wind became stronger. I had to put more effort in walking forward.
The black clouds rolled up over the top of the lake, blocking out the sun more and more. Eventually, everything became dark. The wind became a gale. I saw that my bike was a short distance away, but the gale almost made me stop moving.
Something cool dropped on my face. “It’s snowing!” I thought. Things became more serious as I did not have a warm coat.
As a result of the wind and snow I could not ride my bike. The snow flakes became larger. Before long it seemed that someone was pouring torn cotton rags down from the sky. The snow on the ground became very thick and heavy. The whirling flakes made seeing anything much more difficult. I kept searching for a house or building. I could not give up.A glimmer of light caught my attention. I staggered towards the house. I used one hand to push the door bell and the other to pound the door repeatedly. The door opened a small gap, but the gale pushed the door completely open and pushed me into the house. I fell hard down onto the floor while papers went flying off a desk, whirling to the ceiling. I grabbed the edge of the door and tried to push it shut. A pair of hands was above my head, and the door slowly closed with a “crack”.
I stood up and turned around. A strong young man stood in front of me, a beautiful lady behind him. They raised their hands in the air, smiling and laughing. We gave each other a high five. I was a stranger in their home who had caused a mess and had not even introduced myself. However, they seemed not to mind.
I thanked them over and over for their kindness, grateful for the respite from the storm. They offered hot tea and a sandwich which I accepted graciously. The next day, after a delicious breakfast, they drove me to the lakeside to load my bike then sent me home. Since that day we have become close friends.
[This story was taken with permission, from Learner Journeys, Fall 2009, published by the Saskatchewan Literacy Network (SLN).]