Life Life

10/09/2019 - 08:12

Changing seasons

Hue has entered the period of changing seasons. When I woke up in the morning, there was no more sunlight streaming in through the window, highlighting the floating dust particles in the air.

Chrysanthemum. Photo: Do Ngoc

The sun seemed to want to retreat somewhere for a few days, leaving the clouds to be in charge of the sky. Changing seasons is the time when the "fish scales" stratus clouds appear. Suddenly, the sky seems not so high anymore… 

Once I read in an article about Hue that the population density of Hue City is quite high. Yet under the summer sun, or perhaps due to an inherent habit, Hue people seem to prefer to stay indoors. Therefore, every time I go out, the roads are wide open. The roads are not busy or noisy and there are no traffic jams. Traffic jams in Hue only occur in rush hours or when a bell goes off, signaling a train passing by. 

Perhaps Hue is transitioning into autumn and saying goodbye to the sunny and dry summer. One evening, along the road by Thuong Tu gate, I could smell the aroma of the blackboard tree flowers. It seemed that the blackboard tree in the nearby primary school was the first tree in this city to announce the coming of autumn with its flower scent.

I enjoy the afternoons going to the outskirts of the city, along the river bank past La Y to Phu Mau. I come here to smell the scent of chrysanthemum and see the endless rows of yellow flowers. In an overcast afternoon, watching the smoke rising from someone’s kitchen, I found that in my heart, it is also the changing seasons.  

Endless rows of chrysanthemum. Photo: Do Ngoc

The urge of giving up the hustle and bustle of the city and returning to the countryside to live a peaceful life is like a beautiful dream that I cannot reach.

In the days of changing seasons, I suddenly remembered my childhood, when the children in the neighborhood would go catching the ‘heaven’s silk threads’. Even now, I still do not know where these white silk threads came from. They flew over the fields and on the countryside roads. I only knew that the children told each other to run and catch those threads and that they tasted extremely sweet. But once they land on the grass, they will no longer have a sweet taste…

The autumns of my childhood were days of chasing the heaven’s silk threads, but never having tasted that incredible sweetness. At times, I wondered if my friends were telling me the truth.

The poinciana flowers have fallen on the sidewalk. Their bright red color turned to a dark maroon red. Going to the market, I saw mothers taking their children to buy fabric for tailoring school uniforms and dresses. The women talked to each other about their families, about the worries of buying books and clothes and school fees for the new school year. Summer has truly stayed behind.

Autumn awaits with a few more rain showers… 

Nam Giao