There are days when the soul is as empty and wild as a field after a harvest. I left the familiar, cold room, wandering the streets of Da Lat. Despite the uncertain footsteps, the heart will still meet the flowers of memories. Moments of unexpected enlightenment in silence, there will be an invisible stream flowing over the arid fields of souls, reviving the sweet emotions and dreams buried in the past. I found myself once upon a time, me of a poor thatched roof, of a skinny father, of a mother figure of algae and an innocent, unfinished love which was forever witnessed by a flower... the Rain Lily of autumn.
“Everyone has his own fall of the old days. In nostalgia, in memories...” For many people, the fall is when the coming home roads turn yellow, the leaves fall everywhere and daisies bloom wildly, but for me, the fall in nostalgia is only heavy and cold rains. At night, there were the sound of quails and images of the mom and dad working in harvest season. In the morning, I used to cross the foggy field to class with my books and clothes covered in mud. In the afternoon, alone and wandering with the herd of buffaloes on the deserted hills, among thousands of flowers, listening to the sound of the flute from the pastors, it reminded me of nostalgia. If you and that flower hadn’t been there, my autumn would have been only a grayish brown and sadness.
My home had a clump of rain lily, people in my hometown called it fairy hair flowers. The barren land made many flowers inaccessible, but still, rain lily was blooming in the field. In the summer, the scorching sun and the burning Lao wind made the flowers fade away, hide in the ground of fall, the cool rain draws, the flower buds woke up to become green again. One morning, when the sky was still asleep, surrounded by white mist, the flowers bloomed brightly, glowing in the corner of the yard. At that time, the little girl next door ran over, with happy eyes, her hands cradling each cluster of rain lily, she bent down, kissed each gentle and pure flower. For her, rain lily had been the embodiment of the hands, fairies' hair in a fairy tale. The little fairy sat on the doorstep, her green hair, spreading her hands in the rain. Her hands were small and her nails were pink and pretty. She is the embodiment of pure, unimaginable and non-entangled childhood.
The season of rain lily had gone, the boy and the girl grew up. Before leaving the countryside to the city to continue his career as a writer, the boy brought the girl pot of rain lily with a love letter. He dreamt to be together with her, holding hands to the end of life but time and storms of life swept them apart forever. Rain lily and the old love letter are now just memories.
Year over year, autumn by autumn, I miss you and the little flower. In the houses on the outskirts or in the lonely streets of Da Lat, the rain lily is waking up this season, dragging me to the sky of memories. Looking at the sparkling flower petals, I vaguely imagine you slowly walking towards me with your sad eyes then gently giving me a smile. In that moment, I felt my heart was strangely warm and peaceful.
(VU DINH DONG)