Good Fortune

xinhua county wikipedia

Photo: Xinhua County, China (Wikipedia)


It was the busiest time.

His loneliest.

He sought good fortune in small things. Mostly because it was absent from the big ones. There was always some disaster to contend with: illness, sorrow, loss.

He was born unlucky. His mother pushed by the side of the road because he’d come so quickly. He was blamed for his rash emergence. For her illness. For her early death. Blamed in the not-so-subtle ways that used words like blades.

“You always were impatient,” his grandmother would say. “Show too-little respect.”

He knew his grandmother resented his emerging like a peasant in the dirt when she had clawed her way out of the rice-fields. He had no response.

“Be grateful that you have enough to eat,” she’d frown. “Unlucky boy.”

Xinhua offered work. He fled.

The letter said that his grandmother had died.

New Year approached. His good fortune was to spend it alone.




For What Pegman Saw: Xinhua, China




24 thoughts on “Good Fortune

    • Yes … too many children grow with a constant infusion of erosion. And … I think he’s beginning to appreciate his own worth … Or perhaps he had already, when he’d left the toxic environment he’d been in for something that allowed him a breath. Now, I hope he finds company, because he need not be alone – I am sure there are others whose families are absent or gone ….

      Liked by 2 people

  1. What a heartbreaking story! It’s so awful when people blame children for things that they had no control over, and yet are saddled with the consequences. With some horrible family members, it is better fortune to be alone than to have to be with them for the holidays. So I feel sad for him that he is lonely, but perhaps this loss is the best step forward for him to living a better life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think people confuse being alone with being lonely, and for many of us, it is not the same thing at all. I very much enjoy the company of others and interactions with people, but I also need decent amounts of solitude. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hear you. I think it depends on the crowd for me, though I’m very social in some ways, and very much enjoy being in the company of others. I don’t NEED the company of others all the time, though. Quite the opposite – I need regular doses of solitude. It’s about balance for me. But I know people come in all different ‘ratios’ of need for solitude versus company. It’s all fine, as long as one is aware of what they need and why, IMO. Forcing it in other direction is the problem, in my view.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve pinned down a sad truth here, that not all children are loved, not all people welcomed and nurtured by there own family. As you say, let’s hope he can now move on with his own life and find others who can see the value in him. Beautifully told, Na’ama

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