I’m so sorry hyacinth

I sat waiting for you on the second floor of a small riverside café in Tho Ha ancient village. The afternoon sun is shining brightly on the river surface. My eyes were drawn to the water hyacinth raft that was gently bobbing along the water. The pale purple color of the delicate hyacinth petals seemed to touch the memory in my heart full of earnestness. I remember the summer afternoons when we graze buffaloes on the embankment for them to freely graze, while our young buffalo herders went to the riverbank in Tho Ha ancient village, chose a place where the banyan tree branched close to the river, and then jumped in to bathe. The river was filled with laughter. The river water flowing past our bathing area seemed to be held back by the crackling laughter. No wonder the water hyacinth rafts were drifting slowly and hesitantly, sometimes stopping at us. Swim tired, someone came up with a trick to cling to a large water hyacinth raft, climb half of their body on it, half of their body drop into the water and let the water carry the whole body of water hyacinth slowly drifting a long distance. After a while, they climbed ashore and ran back to find another water hyacinth raft to climb up. Floating again with amused laughter.

I remember the purple hyacinth flowers in a corner of the pond that my sisters and I used to pick and play with our friends in Tho Ha ancient village. Fragile hyacinths in clusters showed off their purple hues alongside other wild flowers we picked. Small, round, smooth hyacinth leaves are used as money to buy and sell in children’s games. In every pocket, every pocket is full of water hyacinth money. At the end of the trading session, we would all sit down and count who has more money, who sells better…

Not only for play, water hyacinth is also a delicious vegetable for chickens and ducks. People in my village often take water hyacinth and chop it, mix it with rice bran or corn bran. I often follow my mother to pull the ox cart to collect water hyacinth from the village pond. After picking up the roots, Mom put the bunches of water hyacinth neatly on the car and pulled it back. Water hyacinth is spongy, the body retains water, so it won’t wilt for a few days. Every time I go, my mother often takes a lot to the side of the pond to gradually chop for the hungry chickens and ducks. From time to time, my mother also took water hyacinth from the pond when she saw that they had spawned a lot. Water hyacinth roots look like black feathers falling into the water in bunches, making them an ideal home for shrimps and shrimps and small crabs and fish. Not that when mom lifted up the water hyacinths in the pond, some shrimp and fish would fall from the roots anyway. Every time my mother picked up duckweed in the pond, I would love to hold a small bowl and wait, whenever I saw any fish falling out, I would run to catch it.

In the past, people in Tho Ha ancient village often used water hyacinth as a medicine. Adults and children with acne, just pick a few fresh leaves and pound them with salt to cover, when dry, change another piece. Less swelling, less pain. Then hyacinth flowers are mixed with alum sugar to cure cough, after a few days of drinking, the attack will stop. When I think back to that day, I feel stupid. Just because I crave the sweet taste of rock sugar with water hyacinth, I sometimes wish I had a cough. You excitedly contribute some items of water hyacinth in your memory. Remember. It is still delicious to this day. I kept looking at the hyacinth petals on the river, my heart suddenly fluttered with nostalgia…

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