Love the fire in winter

When we were barefoot and barefoot, in a tight-fitting high-neck sweater in the middle of a cold winter day, in Tho Ha ancient village children used to go to the village’s bamboo ramparts to pick up each dried bamboo root to light a fire. The corner of the kitchen on a winter day has some bamboo wood buried in the ashes of rice husks, and the fire remains smoldering all day long. Whoever comes home from somewhere will go to the kitchen first, gently cook the charcoal stove, which is still red, warm his hands that are freezing cold, and then rub his cheeks to warm them. Afraid of the cold, sometimes linger and sit by the fire and refuse to go out!

Mother told about the difficult days when her parents just moved out to live on their own, the two of them dug the ground, made baked bricks and built a temporary kitchen to live in. In the middle of a rainy winter day, the wind is blowing on all sides, but the kitchen is narrow, but it is the warmest and happiest place. Mother said: At that time, there was no food, there was no money to buy blankets and mattresses. To cope with the bone-chilling winter nights, in the kitchen, my parents would light a fire to make a fireplace, use straw as a mattress, and use sacks of thorns woven from jute as blankets. It’s been decades, but every time I think about it, I still get teary eyed.

My brothers and sisters grew up in poverty, so they soon got used to the smell of kitchen smoke, especially the kitchen smoke in the winter. Because the winter day is less sunny, it often rains heavily, so the straw is often damp, when cooking, it will smell like smoke. Sitting in the kitchen cooking for a meal, my brother and I will have tears in our eyes because of the smoke. It’s been a while since I got used to it, sometimes I can’t smell the smoke for a long time, but I feel sad and nostalgic! What I remember most is that every time we get a potato, a fish or a grasshopper from the village, my brother and I will immediately run to the kitchen to bake. The smell of spicy kitchen smoke hidden in the passionate aroma of rustic country gifts is nothing more interesting.

In the winter kitchen in Tho Ha ancient village, once, the image of mother is always deeply and dearly attached! No matter how cold it is, every morning my mother makes friends with the fire. Sometimes cooking wine, sometimes taking care of breakfast for the whole family, taking care of the chickens and pigs in time to eat lest they scream loudly or cling to their feet and can’t leave. On winter mornings like that, when I just got out of bed, I would run to the kitchen with my mother anyway. To sit next to her mother, by the familiar fire, to warm her tiny hands, to warm her soul and heart in her arms.

There are so many warm days by the fire at home in Tho Ha ancient village. As the cold days cut the skin and cut the meat, family meals are often served in the kitchen. In the rainy and windy winter days, parents can’t go to work, the whole family has free time to sit around the fire, making familiar delicacies such as buns, pancakes, cassava cakes… Just eat and have fun. When talking, no one knows the cold, only the joy and happiness that spreads in each smile and sentence.

Today, listening to the radio at the end of the year, it will be colder and colder. I feel sorry for my elderly parents in my hometown. And, remember the image of a fire in the winter of a distant time in Tho Ha ancient village


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