The sim seasons of the old year

In this season, in Tho Ha ancient village, just step through the hillsides behind the village, you will see old myrtle bushes blooming with purple flowers in the windy afternoon sky. The children graze the buffalo in the green grass on the side of the field and then pull each other up the hill to find sims, the season is ripe for divination. The laughter and laughter seemed to be etched into the clear summer sky. When I was a child, every time I followed my mother to the field, I used to run up the hill there. When the adults were working in the fields, I crept along the hillside, freely picking ripe forest fruits and filling them with a worn red cap. There were dark stains on the hat from the banana sap in my backyard when I followed my friends in the neighborhood to catch ticks. That day, I sat at the riverside in the countryside, washing and washing again and again, but the sap stains were still not clean. The end of the school year gift, bought by her mother during a visit to the district market, has faded.

That day, my mother did not scream, but I was sad without stopping. The lesson of my childhood made me think about how many things people cherish in life, but unintentionally let it go and then lose it in regret. Remembering the summers of the old year, remembering the ripe myrtle hills in Tho Ha ancient village. When the sound of cicadas begins to urge in the garden, it is also the time when the green myrtle fruits on the hill turn dark. When myrtle is ripe, the villagers often go to the mountain to pick myrtle. Not on the hillside next to the village field, the villagers have to go deep into the mountain, walking when their feet are tired to reach the immense “root” of sim. Mother usually wakes up when the rooster crows for the first time. Mom cooked a pot of red rice and then stuffed it in a mo areca that she picked up in the garden. The meal in the middle of the forest during the red myrtle season is only mo rice dipped with sesame salt and leaf juice.

Up to now, in my slumbers when I wake up in the morning, I can still hear the howling sounds of people calling each other on the village road when the fog is still heavy in Tho Ha ancient village. Villagers pull together into the mountains to pick sims, walk in the dark, walk in the cool moonlight, walk in the sound of roosters early in the morning. The sun goes down behind the hill, the sim bags are heavy on the back, the steps are heavy to return to the village. The faces are rumpled because of a long day in the high mountains, but they can’t hide their smiles when shoppers are still around in the neighborhood. Back then, wholesalers did not use scissors like now. People use cans of cow’s milk to measure each can of ripe sim. Count each can and calculate the money.

In the middle of the myrtle season, when the myrtle begins to ripen and the price is halved, my mother will start making batches of myrtle wine to last a long time. The crock pot lying in the back of the kitchen was brought out to be scrubbed by her mother. Then my mother spread a layer of myrtle and a layer of sugar on top of each other. Lu sim is carefully covered, placed by the window behind the house. Sunshine, wind and rain in the afternoon, from summer to autumn, myrtle is warmly fermented. Mom brought the sim out to squeeze the water, and there was a batch of wine with a dark pink color with a spicy but sweet taste.

I remember, every time relatives on the street stopped by their house, my mother would bring sim wine as a gift. So much so that later, every time people visit their house, they ask their mother: “Do you still have sim wine?”. Mother smiled, looking at the hills far behind the village, Acacia melaleuca stretching to the top of the mountain, the shadow of myrtle gradually thinning. No one in the village now picks myrtle when summer passes through the mountains. Children rarely invite each other to the hill to find ripe sims like in the old days. One day while wandering in the city, I met an old myrtle bush lying in front of someone’s alley. Myrtle flowers are like purple in the summer sky. I don’t know if the sim is sad because it’s down to the city, when people’s hearts keep lingering over the old sim seasons.

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