In most people's mind's eye, winter in Beijing is harsh, bleak and chilly. The drowsy season would confine them in the stuffy room and make them too idle to move any more. I dare say it is because they have neither seen this wonderful season attentively nor learnt to enjoy it yet. Actually, if you experience winter with rapt attention, you will find that it has a vast reservoir of charm beyond your imagination.
The best way to know winter, such an icy and reserved person it usually seems like, is to go outside of your warm house and walk towards him as closely as possible. That is why I revel in rambling alone in winter whenever I am free. Away from the crowds of people, the noises of traffic and the stinging light of neon lamps, I sometimes saunter along a peaceful lane as the dark heavenly curtain is rolling down. The lane is paved with thick yellow carpet that is made of thousands of withered leaves. Treading lightly on it, I enjoy the cracks sounding continually under my feet, as if they are conversing with me fondly. Two rows of birch trees stand along the roadsides, stretching their naked branches so high as to poke holes in the sapphire blue sky. I know, on those old branches are recorded people's ups and downs, joys and sorrows in the past year as well as one year's frost, rain and sunshine. The remaining foliage of the birch trees is rustling as if it is raining. Occasionally, raising my head, I can see a little sparrow flitting from one spray of a birch and then alighting on another. It looks for its own joy, no matter how hard the life is.
On a broken twig, a dead leaf was still hanging, shivering in cold. The wind blew in gusts; the solitary dead leaf was flickering, in danger of falling off at any time. I wondered whether it would hold out a little longer. Suddenly, a strong blast swept over the birch, and as I expected, the dead leaf finally fell off the twig and was flutt