Temple bells and kettles ringing

Once upon a time, my mother’s day always started with a kettle of boiling water. Early in the morning in Tho Ha ancient village, when the temple rings for the first time, my mother wakes up. The first thing my mother grouped the kitchen and set up the kettle. At that time, my mother was very thrifty, the house next door worked as a sugarcane peeler for the sugarcane juice shops, every afternoon she helped people clean up the sugarcane shells and then took home a hug, dried it to save the morning water. Boiling water, mother made a vase and made tea. Then put a rice cooker or a pot of sticky rice for the family to have breakfast.

When my mother finished making the teapot, my father also watered a series of potted plants. He went to the kitchen and sat next to my mother. The two of them drank tea and talked about “feelings”. The smell of smoke sneaking into the bedroom window and the loud murmur of the two parents woke me up. In that dream state I always felt warm and peaceful. Some days I slept very soundly, sometimes I woke up and sneaked into the kitchen to sit between the two of them, and then fell asleep on my father’s side. Remembering the days of studying for exams in the 12th grade, staying up late at night afraid of not being able to get up in the morning in Tho Ha ancient village, I told my mother to wake up early to study. However, every time my mother wakes me up, I always pull the blanket over my head: “It’s still early, Mom”. Mother reminded: “The temple has been ringing for a long time!”.

Sometimes when I wake up on my own when I hear the temple bell in Tho Ha ancient village, I see my mother sitting in the kitchen since when, she is lighting the fire. On a winter morning, I swooped down to the kitchen to sit close to my mother, light up the fire to keep warm, and tell her stories about yesterday at school. The storm was too long, my mother had to chase me: “Go home to study, it’s almost morning!”. Then I passed the entrance exam to university, my mother was the most happy and also the most sad one. From here on, the bird was able to fly on its own, and began to spread its wings to fly into the sky of its dreams, no longer asking its mother to practice passing it on. In the evening, before going to school, my mother told me all kinds of things, things that she never said before. Those are the worries of a mother when her daughter lives in a big city, has to take care of everything on her own, without a mother, without a father… The excitement of youth makes her mother’s words go from one ear to the other so quickly, I see my mother so confused.

I didn’t sleep all night, but early in the morning I heard the temple bell, eager to go to school far away, didn’t wait for my mother to call, no longer covered my head with blankets, I got up quickly, changed clothes quickly , carrying a heavy suitcase quickly walked out of the house without seeing her mother’s tears rolling down her cheeks. From then on, the bird flew far, far away, the mother’s arms became more and more relaxed in Tho Ha ancient village. Then I graduated from school, went to work, got married. The sound of the temple bell, the mother calling to wake up, the image of the mother sitting by the fire cooking each kettle of water each morning fades away, fades away and then disappears.

Having my own family, when the second child was born, I felt like my mother in the past. In a state of lethargy hearing the temple bell for the first time, I… slept until five o’clock before I woke up. First I put the kettle on. While waiting for the water to boil I did some exercise. There is boiling water, I make two glasses of milk for two children, and my husband a cup of coffee. In the industrial age, the days seemed to be shorter, we did not have the opportunity to sit together with a cup of tea like our parents in the old days, but only had a quick, simple but extremely warm breakfast.

Just a kettle of water is enough for the whole family to have a delicious breakfast with instant noodles, pho or instant noodles. Pre-marinated beef in the refrigerator, arrange the noodle soup in a bowl, put the beef on top, then make boiling water, add a little green onion and a few lettuce leaves, a little ground pepper. When I woke up the whole family at ten to six o’clock, there were already foods full of energy on the table for everyone to work until noon. That’s it, how many years ago, like my mother in the past, my day went from the moment the temple bell rang until it actually started with a kettle of water.

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