Suddenly I noticed the scent of guava…

Waking up in the morning in Tho Ha ancient village, walking down from the bed, passing the main house, the small children were attracted to the guava fruit. The guavas picked by her in the early morning are round and smooth, neatly placed in a small bamboo basket, giving off a sweet scent. I didn’t mean to scream, but then I couldn’t control my emotions, so the sound broke out and she was chewing betel nut in the yard, laughing and scolding love.

At the end of summer, early autumn in Tho Ha ancient village, the guava fruits begin to divination. I didn’t think time would pass so unexpectedly quickly. Just last month, when my sister asked me to go to the garden to climb up the star fruit branch to cook sour soup, suddenly the clusters of white guava flowers next to me swayed provocatively. At that time, in my head, I envisioned and craved the bunches of fruit hanging on the branches. Those are the two guava trees planted by my father when he had a garden. They were tall, stretched out their thin arms and pointed to the sky. Over time, the big tree trunk becomes firm and stout. I still often climb up the fork of the guava tree and squeeze the fruit, taking care of each fiber of the sweet and fragrant flesh. Although the fruit is smaller than other guava varieties, in return, they have their own characteristic aroma. The meat is also very tender. Old people like my grandmother like to eat guava rice even more.

When the guava season ripens at the same time, just stepping foot into the garden can hear the scent of guava filling the nasal cavity. In the morning, Tho Ha ancient village is cool, everything is just right, the whole space is like being marinated by a pleasant, rustic and sweet scent. My grandmother always “recommends” her grandchildren not to eat guava in the early morning when the stomach is not full of rice or food, but I couldn’t resist the urge, secretly she picked one and put it in her mouth. Gobbled up early in the morning to visit the garden.

She also did not allow her grandchildren to climb the guava tree for fear of falling down and breaking her limbs and suffering. So to pick the fruit, she asked her father to make a long racket with a basket in front to pick. I still can’t forget her lovely figure. Small figure, hunched back like his father’s hooves, his eyes narrowed as he picked up each guava with a racket. The guava she picked was divided equally into small bags and distributed to her children and neighbors. While doing it, she mumbled, good things should be shared with others. The grandchildren sitting next to her were excited and happy and her mouth was also smiling.

Then, if there is too much left, she will bring the fruit to the market to sell. A basket of guava that day was not very profitable, but it was a great joy for the children of the countryside. I am always excited after her market with sweet honey candy, bag of sugar cane in a flat glossy bag or a colorful tortoise. The rest of the money she gave to my sisters and brothers to put away plastic pigs, spend the school year to buy a new book or pen. The simple joy she built from such small things. And I also grew up from the small joys she gave me, from the familiar rice guavas in my homeland.

More than twenty years away from Tho Ha ancient village, but I thought it was like yesterday when I came back and suddenly realized that the scent of guava was suffocating when I went to the corner of the market to see a bunch of rice and guava neatly lying on the seller’s basket. My heart suddenly fluttered, my eyes sting when I thought about my hometown, my late grandmother. For nearly half a decade, my grandmother returned to the dust, every season when guava returns, my heart misses her, remembers her stooped posture, squinting and picking each guava. Craving for a sweet childhood with sweet little things and the scent of guava…

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