It’s a commonplace for me to think far and deep, like what does a meaningful life mean? By what means do those contemplative people contemplate? Or how does this changeable world change?
Then, of course, this habit has forged me a person to dream big. I once dreamed of being a navigator, as well as a cultural transmitter who travels, explores, discovers and exchanges cultural treasures with the outside world, which could be traced back to my childhood when maxims, like “Great achievements are not something accidental, but must certainly be willed,” had been done to death. It’s a pity that thousands of motivation books titled “Think far, dream big,” in reality, are full of generalities. Few people are struggling to realize their dreams; I am not an exception. Nevertheless, I’d laid my dream to heart, amazingly.
The other day, I heard news of the Nanhai No.1, which left a profound impression on me. Actually, I had gone to the Guangdong Maritime Silk Road Museum twice. Probably, due to my age, I had no idea of what the Nanhai No.1 mean then. While I was standing in front of a 64m long, 40m wide and 23m high pool-type container called the Crystal Palace, looking through a glass wall, staring at the ancient cargo ship buried by silt, puzzles thronged on my mind. I learned that it’s a well-preserved ship, designed with high safety standards to resist waves and freight in bulk, then how could it sink into seabed? Before discovered in 1987, it had stayed there for over 800 years. What on earth is the time that it represents?
Afterward, I read up literature about it. Sailing on the routes, now called the Marine Silk Road, it should have once connected with Asian-European countries and Eastern African countries. At that time, maritime trade was prosperous. As a big thing, giving a farewell meal before launching out was of frequent occurrence. I conjecture people who boarded on ships, sailing from place to place, were inspired and ambitious. As to the ship owner of the Nanhai No.1, he is supposed to be aspiring. For rare treasures and spice, elegant chinaware and clinquant bullion could be exchanged. But rather than materialistic consideration, I bet he would prefer to the more enduring spiritual and cultural enrichment. If he could spread the splendid Chinese culture out to the world, it would be a great contribution to the civilizations of the world! Was it the dream carried by the Nanhai No.1? Anyway, it is the direction I determine to follow.
However, the fate of the Nanhai No.1 is in flux that it was at one time plowed under the sea. Nowadays, President Xi brought the “Belt and Road Initiative” up; Marine Silk Road is going to be inherited for better development. In a state of stupor, I saw the Nanhai No.1 on the road again; the historic and present generations are in a magical blend. Although there is a long way to go, China is adopting a positive and open posture, to hug the world and the future.
There, thousands of mighty sailing ships, carrying the same dreams with the Nanhai No.1, are buffeting their way through the waves. Here, as a determined cultural transmitter, I am thrilled, willing to be one of them, paying the price to make my unfulfilled dreams come true. I would like to seek out answers on my way and proclaim: I’m on the road again!
(By Zhong Yanlu from Guangdong Teachers College of Foreign Language and Arts)