The Breeze of Spring



As a kid, I used to like Chinese New Year. There were goodies we loved and ang baos to collect. Even for kids of other races, they got to enjoy two days of public holidays with their families. Which kid didn't like Chinese New Year?

As we grew up, the ba gua didn't fascinate anymore. The value of the content inside the ang baos slowly diminished and it became more of a burden with each passing year for the well wishers to grudgingly hand out those packets to an over-age kid who refused to get married. Slowly, the excitement of Chinese New Year faded.

I like Chinese New Year for an additional reason and this is the sole reason why I still love Chinese New Year after all these years. It was my secret and I will now share it with you.

When I was young I used to tell my mother during the period before Chinese New Year, "Mum, I like this wind." Mum would be amused and explained, "This is 春風 (Breeze of Spring)." I argued with mum that the teacher in school told me that there Singapore does not encounter 4 seasons. With no seasons, how could I be experiencing 春風 in Singapore? Mum laughed.

That "春風" that I experienced all my life in Singapore during Chinese New Year period was always special. Every year, whenever the breeze caught me I would stop in my tracks and close my eyes and concentrate on the feeling. The breeze was unique. It brought a special feel that I couldn't describe. Maybe it was the smell or a specific temperature, I was never sure. It was just profoundly unique.

Today I felt it again. On a cold November dawn, 3898 kilometres away from where I last felt this. It made me homesick. My memories of Singapore came back to me rapidly as I closed my eyes to experience the breeze like I always did. I remembered how my mum made 'love letters' with other aunties with a charcoal burner at the staircase landing at my hometown in Holland Village. I recalled the happy days with my sisters in our tiny but cosy 3-room flat. My neighbours, we did had an amazing childhood together. My month in school in QSTS where I get to know my friends, my brothers. The first time I was acquainted with my beloved dog where he peed on me when I carried him. It all happened during period with that magical breeze.

The sudden flash backs left me mystified but sadden. Like the stupid man in the house. I did not open my golden mouth to tell the people who matter to me that I love them. Moments came and left with residues of regrets remaining.

I need to call mum today to tell her that 春風 exists in Singapore.

Mum was right.

6 comments:

  1. I do agree that "Ba Gua" no longer fascinate me anymore. But I still love Chinese New Year and always do. It's not because of the "Ang Bao" or the long public holiday.

    But it's because of the time spent with my family members. Even it was just staying at home with them... talking all day or just watching tv with them... it's never bored to be together with them.

    Right after my secondary school, I have been staying far away from home. I'm only able to go back once a month. And now, I'm only able to go back home when there's a public holiday. Thus, I cherish them even more than I used to be. A sign of aging, I guess? lolx~

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  2. Hi memories,

    No, that's because you are living away from them now. So you'll miss them, like i do.

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  3. i like this post. cos i feel the 春風 every yr too!

    #10513

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  4. Have you called your mum? I love the family get-together during CNY as it seems like the only time when all the members of the BIG family gather together. You have made a point!

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  5. hmm i still like ba gua leh... =x
    but v fattening.. hahaha...

    coming CNY is my last yr to collect ang bao! =x

    -Julia

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  6. @ #10513 - i understand. You and me share the common connection

    @ ellis: yep. I called and it was good

    @ Julia: hahaa, i still like it but it no longer give me that kind of excitement :)

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