Memory of April

In April, the weather gradually changes from the drizzle of spring to the golden sunshine of summer in Tho Ha ancient village. These April days, I like to call them “new summer”, because it is the beginning of summer. Summer has arrived, bringing back many of my childhood memories. In April, I remember my great-grandfather from the days when I was a child. In April mornings, the weather is no longer cold, he wakes up early, walks around the village, and wakes up all his children and neighbors. He woke up even the earliest sunlight, woke up the roosters still sleeping in the coop to wake up the people.

The old man was old but still strong, scowling, only his hands were shaking because the day before he participated in revolutionary activities, he was tortured by the enemy by electric shocks on ten fingers. Those hands, nearly a hundred seasons of falling leaves, but still want to do it all by themselves, don’t want to trouble their children and grandchildren. He did not make anyone cook or do laundry.

Although unable to do so, his descendants still feel secure with his desire to “work”. Because he is like a respectable tree of the family, although it has been nearly a hundred years, he still opens his arms to protect his children and grandchildren, still a place to return to after generations when tired and stuck. He taught his children and grandchildren a lot about the reason for living in life, about loss – more, gain – loss.

I remember those summer afternoons in Tho Ha ancient village, when the sun had disappeared behind the bamboo grove at the end of the village, the sound of a pair of hoe birds called out to each other at the edge of the field, we went to the old man’s house again. He has been waiting at the pond bridge ever since… The lotus pond in the garden is small, but the water is always full and clear and cool. The afternoon wind is cool, the lotus flowers are fragrant. In the summer, he likes to bathe in the pond.

Bridges and ponds are spilled, paved smooth and clean. She wears shorts, hits the ceiling, sits on the high steps to bathe. My sisters, each with a coconut shell, with a long handle, stood on the bridge and pond, scooping up water for the old man, laughing and laughing. The old man sat and watched his little nephews imitate him, sitting under the pond steps below, scooping up water to bathe and then splashing each other. With a smile on his face, the old man reached out his trembling hand to stroke his long, white and white beard, then called each of them to sit next to them and scrub them. After a while, my sisters and I will run into the rainwater tank to draw a bucket of water and pour it back to the old man and the younger brothers…

I remember April of my student years in Tho Ha ancient village, every time I mention the two words “young summer”, my heart flutters again. Just worried about the year-end exam and excitedly welcoming the summer. At recess, we’ll talk a lot about our summer plans: tending buffaloes, mowing grass, bathing in ponds, flying kites… All of these projects are muddy and exciting, but excited like little girls. The boy is now talking about the trips his parents reward him with after a long school year.

April returns to the golden rice fields in Tho Ha ancient village, brightening up the bright smiles of my parents and farmers. In the coming season, the rice drying on the yard is golden, and the straw drying on the village road is golden. The beads of sweat dripping from the back of the shirt still did not stop the enthusiasm of the laborers.

In the midst of these April days, I remember the old April days, thinking about the consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic, but naturally, I didn’t let myself hear a sigh from the bottom of my heart. Hopefully the epidemic will pass quickly so that life can be peaceful and rhythmic like before, let children go to school to have fun by the pages of books, show off their bright smiles without being covered by masks… roofs to cool off under the trees and tell each other how many happy and sad stories we have experienced…

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