Unexpected Moment


Due to the pandemic, most of the libraries had been closed since March 2020. The closest library would be open from July 1, 2021, which was the most exciting news we heard that summer. One sunny morning, my son and I happily went to this library, laughing all the way. But it was 9:45 a.m., too early; it would open at 10 a.m.

I asked my son what kind of book he would borrow when the library opened. “Maybe science fiction? I will see,” my son told me. I was thinking about what kind of book I would borrow. Maybe a book to learn English, fiction, or a parenting book? At that moment, the door opened. 

Wow! We had not been in the library for almost one and a half years. But here we were! Although it was the first time for us to go into this library because we had moved here the summer before, it was still easy for us to find our favorite bookshelves by category labels. While I was looking for books, my son came over and told me that there were some free Chinese magazines near the door. Chinese magazines? What a surprise! In the four years since we had come to the U.S., I hadn’t seen any physical Chinese magazines. 

I went to that shelf and checked out all the free Chinese magazines that were published in 2020. Among them, there was one Chinese magazine named DuZhe that had been my favorite when I was in high school. I was so surprised to look at the familiar cover with the familiar title. I had not read a DuZhe for nearly 20 years. As I opened it, certain memories quickly came back to me. It was a very popular magazine published monthly, which my parents subscribed to for me. Every time I read a funny story first and then read the others. In an instant, I was transported back to high school. Memories were full in my mind, which made me return to my home country simply by reading a familiar magazine. I felt so great and appreciated this unexpected awesome moment a favorite magazine brought to me.



Ru (Christine) He is 44 years old. Born in Jiangsu, China, she arrived in the U.S. in June 2017. She lives in Brooklyn with her family. She is a mechanical engineer and enjoys the diverse culture of New York City. She says, “Everything is within walking distance if you have enough time.” At CUNY’s City Tech Adult Learning Center, her teacher is Martie Flores, and Gilberto Gerena is the director of adult education.