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難忘的一課
難忘的一課
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  For as long as I can remember,Easter Sunday has been my favorite day to go to church.
  I was almost always able to smuggle a few pieces of Easter candy into the meeting,and the way I saw it,anything is tolerable if you' re munching on malted milk eggs and chocolatebunnies.Even church.
  I also liked the fact that on Easter,there was usually more singing than preaching at church.The music of Easter is great-lots of" Hosannas"and"Alleluias"--and much more uplifting thanmost Easter sermons.
  Heck,just watching our church choir was worth the price of admission-from that hangy-down thing that wobbled on the underside of lone Merrill' s arm while she led the choir to the way Stan Smith' s Whole head turned purple as he strained to reach the highest tenor notes.
  But the best thing about Easter was the impromptu fashion show that took place as members arrived wearing their Easter finery.For those few minutes,the girls and women in our congregation were super models,and the church aisle was theirrunway.
  And the most super of the super models was Ginger McDonald,one of the eldest and most respected members of our congregation.Tall and stately,with bright red hair,this handsome womancommanded attention even in a plain black dress (tastefully accessorized,of course).But on Easter,she stole the show,with colorful outfits and huge hats that could have been spotted from Spumik.
  Especially on the Easter of the lavender hat.
  Actually,Ginger' s entire outfit was lavender,including lavender shoes and gloves,a sweeping lavender dress and a lavender purse the size of a small continent.But it was her lavender hat,complete with lavender veil,that got my attention.I couldn't help it-Ginger and her hat were sitting right in front of me.
   It was shaped like a satellite dish,with the bottom brim extending down the back of her pew,almost to my knees.I couldn' t even cross my legs without bumping the hat,and that prospect frightened me.If I bumped it,it might tumble off her head,and who knows how many people would be crushed if that thing started rolling? I couldn' t see and I couldn' t move,but I could eat,so I focused my attention on the goodies in my pockets.
   I unwrapped the first treat and popped it into my mouth,and without thinking I put the empty wrapper in Ginger' s hat.I wasn't trying to be malicious.It's just that this big lavender dish was right there in front of me,and it seemed like the thing to do.I continued eating candy and stashing the wrappers in the lavender trash receptacle until it was time for the choir to sing.By this time,there was a good -sized pile in there,and it startled me when it started to move.I tried to grab the wrappers,but it was too late.They were now part of an otherwise all-lavender Easter ensemble.
   Those who hadn't seen Ginger smiled and nodded as she grandly made her way to her place in the choir.Smiles turned to giggles,however,when she walked past and revealed the pile of garbage in the back of her hat.
   Ginger seemed unaware of the stir she was causing until a well-meaning choir member scooped the wrappers out of her hat and handed them to her,whispering a word of explanation.To her credit,Ginger' s pleasant expression never changed,but I was sure I could see mayhem in her eyes as she sought me out and fixed me with her oh,so charming gaze.
   I prayed fervently,but God chose to ignore my pleas to make the choir's song last forever.When the song ended and choir members began returning to their seats,I braced myself for the reaction I knew was coming.
   Instead,Ginger looked at me,smiled and winked,then she picked up her big lavender purse and put the wrappers in it.And she never mentioned the incident again.I learned an important lessonabout forgiveness that day-a lesson in lavender.
  And what better day than Easter for a lesson like that?
  自我記事起,就一直最喜歡在復活節那天去教堂。
  那時候,我總是能夠把一些復活節糖果偷偷地帶進集會中去。而且,依我來看,當你嚼著麥乳精雞蛋或者巧克力小圓包的時候,任何事情都是可以容忍的,甚至是教堂。
  還有,在復活節,教堂里唱贊美詩的時間通常要比講道的時間長,這也讓我十分喜歡。復活節唱的贊美詩非常美妙、非常偉大——有很多諸如“和散那”(贊美上帝之詞)和“阿利路亞”之類的贊美詩,而且比大多數的復活節布道更能振奮人心。
  看一看我們教堂唱詩班的演出就不虛此行了——璦恩·麥瑞爾指揮整個合唱團時,手臂上垂下的東西不斷地晃動著;還有斯坦·史密斯,為了唱上男高音的最高音階,使出了渾身的勁兒,整個臉都脹得通紅。
  不過,復活節里最精彩應首推人們穿著復活節盛裝來到教堂的時候,就像一場即興的時裝表演一樣。在那幾分鐘內,我們教堂會眾中的女孩子們和婦女們都成了超級時裝模特,而教堂的走廊里則是她們的T型舞臺。
  金吉爾·麥克唐納是這些超模中的超模,她是在我們的教堂會眾中最年長、也最受尊敬的一位。她長著一頭亮紅頭發,高高的個子,舉止端莊,這樣漂亮的女人即使是穿著最普通的黑衣服(當然配著有品味的裝飾),也會立即吸引人們的視線。而在復活節,她總以她那色彩艷麗的全套服飾和一頂從人造地球衛星上都能發現的巨大的帽子在“時裝表演”中搶盡風頭。
  特別值得一提的就是金吉爾戴淡紫色帽子的那年復活節。
  事實上,金吉爾的全套服飾都是淡紫色的,包括淡紫色的鞋子和手套,還有淡紫色的拖地長裙,就連那個小型大陸似的大錢包也是淡紫色的。但是,惟獨她那頂淡紫色的帽子,當然也包括淡紫色的面紗,引起了我的注意。事實上,我也無法不去注意它——因為金吉爾戴著帽子正好就坐在我的前面。
  那頂帽子的形狀就像是一個圓盤式衛星天線,底部邊緣垂到了長椅靠背,幾乎要碰到我的膝蓋了。如果我蹺起二郎腿,就一定會碰到帽子。一想到這我就很担心,因為如果我碰到帽子的話,它就可能從她的頭上翻落,而如果它真的從她的頭上翻落下去,天知道會壓倒多少人呢?我的視線被她擋住了,也不能移動身體,但我卻可以吃東西,于是,我就把我的注意力集中到了我口袋里的那些好吃的東西上。
  我剝開第一顆糖果,塞進嘴里,不假思索地就把空包裝紙放進了金吉爾的帽子里。我這樣做并不是故意惡作劇。只是這個巨大的淡紫色盤子正好就在我的面前,好像就應該這么做似的。我繼續吃著糖果,并把包裝紙全都藏進了那個淡紫色的“廢物箱”里。到唱詩班要開始唱贊美詩時,帽子里已經堆了好大一堆的包裝紙。而當它忽然開始移動時,我大吃了一驚。我連忙想抓起糖紙,但是已經太遲了。現在,它們已經成了這套原來搭配協調的淡紫色的復活節服裝中的一部分。
  當金吉爾莊重地走向唱詩班里自己的位置時,那些此前沒看到她的人向她微笑點頭。然而,當她走過,帽子后邊那一堆垃圾呈現在人們眼前時,人們的微笑都變成了咯咯的笑聲。
  金吉爾似乎一直沒有覺察到由她而引起的轟動,直到一個好心的唱詩班成員把那些包裝紙從她的帽子里挖出來遞給她,并輕聲地向她解釋了幾句。值得稱道的是,金吉爾那和氣的表情始終都沒有改變,但是,當她的目光搜尋到我并且定格在我的臉上的時候,我確信我能夠從她的目光中看到她所受到的傷害。哦,那是多么迷人的凝視啊!
  我虔誠地祈禱著,祈求唱詩班的歌聲永遠持續下去,但是上帝對我的祈禱卻不予理睬。當歌聲結束的時候,唱詩班的成員們紛紛返回他們的座位。我也準備接受我認為即將到來的報應。
  然而,金吉爾卻微笑地看著我,還沖我眨了眨眼睛,然后,她拿出她的那個大大的淡紫色錢包,把那些糖紙放了進去。從那以后,她就再也沒有說起過這件事。就在那天,關于寬恕,我學到了重要的一課——難忘的一課。
  又有哪天比復活節更能學到這一課呢?
英語自學滬G381中學外語教與學20032003李威A Lesson In Lavender 作者:英語自學滬G381中學外語教與學20032003
2013-09-10 20:54

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