The flower is dead, the fragrance is still alive

   When planting seedlings, Aunt Liu likes to plant a scarecrow in the rice field and put it on her wife’s clothes. I heard her muttering while planting rice seedlings: When you were young, you always refused to let me do heavy work, so you let me sit on the ridge and watch you do the work. Now, if you rest, just watch me do it. Work for a few more years to earn grandson’s tuition, and I will accompany you!
   When a scarecrow puts on his lover’s clothes, does his lover survive? I always have such doubts.
   For example, that salted fish, whose eyes are still wide open, seems to be full of questions like mine.
   My daughter asked me, is that fish dead?
   I said, yes, it’s dead.
   She then asked, why don’t you throw it away when you die?
   In the daughter’s heart, the dead thing is garbage, which has no value and should be thrown away.
   Her question touched me. For example, are the herbs and the fruits and vegetables that are picked as dead? However, their value is infinitely magnified after death.
   At least I think that the Chinese herbs in the earthen jar, the vegetables that are washed clean and ready to be cooked in the kitchen, are alive. So, how should I explain the relationship between death and rebirth to my daughter?
   A fish died, but it “resurrected” on our dining table again, until it became a fishbone, it was considered dead. But wait, is that really the case? The wife said that if these fish bones were smashed and put in the soil in the flowerpot, the flowers would grow better.
   So, look at this fish, even if it becomes a fishbone, it is still alive. It lives in that potted flower-every petal has its scent; every leaf has its green. With the help of a pot of flowers, the fish came alive. It’s not that the salted fish turns over, but the soul is reborn.
   One evening in the summer, my daughter and I passed by the square. She pointed to a place and said to me: “Dad, we piled a big snowman there in winter!” I was in a daze. The snowman had disappeared for a long time, but my daughter The memory is still fresh-in her eyes, the snowman has always been there.
   The snowman was not dead, it just melted, and the daughter collected the souls that were scattered in every corner for it.
   Is the chopped bamboo dead? They were made into bamboo sticks, bamboo baskets, used to make paper, and made into beautiful bamboo flutes, which sounded in the world day and night… They did not die.
   I have a friend whose mother died when he was 5 years old. He and his father depended on each other for life. Now, as a middle-aged man, he can’t remember the details about his mother, but he can always feel the love and company of his mother-because his father mentions her over and over again, every time he has a detailed description. His surviving memory at the age of 5 was magnified by his father and extended endlessly.
   Another friend, after her mother left, always used to pour the rice-washing water into the flowerpot; when peeling the yam, she would unconsciously put on gloves… The way her mother does things, she is still instructing her—— The mother never walked out of her world.
   So, in a sense, death is not the end. The musician is dead, but the note is still alive; the poet is dead, but the verse is still alive; the flower is dead, but the fragrance is still alive

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