Dear terrace

Old house with patchy walls in Tho Ha ancient village. The old house with cement steps that sometimes my teacher has to patch up regularly, but it is the memory of my sisters and brothers. That step, where the footsteps of my sisters toddle. It was the place where my teacher and mother saw my two sisters off to her husband’s house, but when the sisters just stepped out of the living room and reached the doorstep, my teacher – a soldier who had been born and died, strong and brave, took his hand away. quick tears. That’s where my grandmother sat, chewing betel nut, looking out into the alley, waiting for her children to return home when it was late in the afternoon.

In the mornings when I don’t go to school or when summer comes, my sisters and I take care of each other. Together with the neighborhood children in Tho Ha ancient village, we picked coconut leaves to make pinwheels and clocks; pick casuarinas to make a heart shape; Pick pear flowers to make a laurel wreath. Alas, the colors, the eye-catching shapes created by children’s games. Just like that, playing quietly, quietly watching the results, and when we laughed happily, the sun had settled on the areca top, its rays were dancing on the steps of the house.

In the summer afternoons, the gentle wind blows, and the mother spreads the mats on the porch. My sisters and I gathered around my mother, some of them pulled their hair deeply, and others were chirping and telling stories. Sometimes my mother scratched our heads. At that time, the children’s eyes will be dim and dreamy in their own world. And if mom prolongs her hairdo, we’ll have a good night’s sleep. Those dreams are not long, but deep enough, delicious enough, and soothing enough. Then later, that image sometimes appeared in my afternoon dreams.

That step is also the place where my family has cozy dinners despite being very frugal. The wind blew in coolly from the river, a mat was spread on the terrace, the whole family gathered together. My mother gave birth to many children in Tho Ha ancient village, not stopping meals was a great effort of the parent. My mother cooks well, so even with simple ingredients, she creates delicious dishes. Mother dishes add spice of love. Until now, I still remember like a flower mat, a burnt rice cooker and some familiar dishes my mother used to make: a plate of green morning glory salad, a bowl of sour soup, a bowl of crispy eggplant and a plate of dried fish. fragrant rim.

On moonlit nights in Tho Ha ancient village, when my teacher did not go to the beach, the uncles in the neighborhood came to play, everyone talked on the porch. A teapot, a plow, and some guavas picked from the garden, that was enough for the men’s late-night conversations. Unexpectedly, I thought, it must be very friendly for my teacher to receive guests in that space.

We grew up, away from our mother’s arms. When we brought our children home, the mother still kept the habit of spreading mats on the steps for her to play. Looking at that picture, my sisters and I miss the memories of the old season. My teacher and mother have gray hair, slow and quiet footsteps with flower mats, with the old steps of the house. The old house is no longer there, but everything that belongs to that place I will forever love…


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