Rapeseed Blooms Bring Beauty and Lessons of Resilience – Pub’d on China Daily

China Daily published my latest column titled Rapeseed blooms bring beauty and lessons of resilience. Here’s an excerpt:

After Spring Festival holidays, there’s one thing I look forward to most in March-the golden fields of rapeseed flowers that bloom across the terraced hills in my husband’s hometown in rural Zhejiang province. It’s a stunning display that ushers in the coming of spring, one full of beauty and resilience.

I say resilience, because rapeseed must survive some of the coldest days of the year before they flower, something I discovered one January while hiking among the snow-dusted terraced fields in the village. I was surprised to encounter neat rows of tiny green plants at that time of year, thriving in spite of the white flakes that covered their leaves and the soil around them. How could anything flourish in such frigid weather, with temperatures that hovered around and even just below zero? But, as my husband explained to me, the rapeseed must take root in winter to blossom at just the right time, which happens to fall in March in the village.

Those tiny plants eventually shoot up into sturdy rows of rapeseed around half my height. Then one day, as if by the wave of a conductor’s wand, their petals gradually unfurl, painting every hillside in an exuberant shade of yellow that shines with a brilliance second only to the sun. It serves as a visual overture to the warmer spring days set to arrive, promising everyone who gazes upon these fields of gold that better times are coming.

The whole sight uplifts not only the landscape, but also the spirit within. I recall one day when, after receiving some bad news, I went on to counter it with a long walk in the hills, among these glorious rapeseed flowers. I’m certain they had something to do with the fact that I returned home with a lighter gait and a little more hope in my heart.

Read the rest of the column here. And if you like it, share it!

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