散步 Going for a Walk
We went for a walk in the fields, my mother, my wife, my son and I.
Mother had been reluctant to come out with us, for, advanced in years, she was in poor health, and even a short distance would make her feel exhausted. But I insisted that, precisely for this reason, walking was necessary. Nodding her consent, she went to fetch her overcoat. Now she was very obedient to me, just as I was to her in my childhood.
The weather was fine. This year, spring came late, too late. Some old people found it hard to endure the long cold spell. But after all spring was here now, my mother had survived another harsh winter.
Spring was just unfolding: patches of green, big and small, light and dark, formed a random mosaic on this piece of land in south China; new sprouts on tree branches were multiplying; the irrigated water in the fields all winter was warming up, gurgling with bubbles. All these reminded us of one thing, the vitality of life.
My mother and I walked in front, followed by my wife and son. Our boy suddenly shouted out: “A mother and son in front, another mother and son behind.” We all laughed.
Later, differences occurred between us: my mother wanted to take the main road, for it was wide and smooth, while my son preferred the little path, where more interesting things might be awaiting. It was up to me to make the final decision. My mother, in her old age, had got used to listening to her robust son, and my son, like most other young kids, was in the habit of obeying his father, a lofty figure in his mind. As for my wife, well, she always appeared submissive once we stepped out of our home. I suddenly felt the weight of a heavy responsibility. I tried to work out a win-win choice, but failed. Then I considered dividing the family into two groups, each going its favorite route, but had second thoughts and gave up the idea. Finally, I decided against my son, because there would be long years ahead in which I could be with him. So, I announced: “Let’s take the main road.”
But my mother changed her mind, and, caressing her grandson’s head, said, “We’d better take the little path.” She raised her eyes toward the path flanked with mulberry trees, where there were patches of golden rape flowers and a rippling fish pond at the far end. “You’ll have to carry me on your back in places I can’t walk across,” my mother said to me.
Differences thus settled, we picked our way along the little path toward the flowers, the trees, and the pond, all bathed in the sun. When we came to a certain spot, I crouched down to let my mother get on my back. My wife followed my example and carried our son. Tall as my mother was, she was quite thin, and not heavy at all. My son was fat, but a child could only be so heavy. Despite this, both my wife and I walked slowly and cautiously, as steadily as possible, as if we bore the whole world on our backs.
此处词义融于整句译文中，较直译“…as if what were on our backs would amount to/equal the whole world.”反而来得直接、有力。