Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

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A belief that people share, regardless of their cultural or ethnic background, is "Home Sweet Home". This saying implies that our home town, province, or village is usually the sweetest place, since it is bonded with the most beautiful and unforgettable memories of our childhood. This belief is most meaningful to people who have to live in exile or have do a lot of traveling. People usually have the same comment when asked about their feeling towards their hometown, "There is no place like home." As for me, I will always have a very strong and special emotion whenever I think about my home village, where I was born and spent my entire childhood. That is the feeling that it suits me and binds me closely to my village, and though it is out of sight, it is never out of mind.

I'll never forget that happy moment, the time I returned home when it first comes into sight again, rising out of the screen of thick green bamboo trees. I see the range of blue high mountains, the long bridge over the river, and the market with its white painted stands; complimented by an air of prosperity and animation because of its quaint commercial quarter.

At the market, swarming crowds create a bustling uproar. The busiest market day of the week is Sunday. As early as six o'clock in the morning, people from the surrounding village flock to the market with all sorts of products. Women with two big baskets on each side of their carrying poles filled with vegetables, such as fruits, eggs or rice, while men bring their treasure cattle to be sold. It is quite a sight to see numerous carriages of all sorts being driven up and down the main street of the market place. From the primary school located at the end of the market pla ce, came the shrill voices of children learning their lessons aloud. But at the opposite end of the market, silence reigns over the narrow winding streets, while the distance echoes the sound of broken thatch roofed cottages where the newborn infants' cr ies mingle with mothers' crooning and rhythmic rocking of hammocks. But at the other end of the village, it is quieter and more pleasant. A magnificent old pagoda stands before a great lake, its water is as clear as glass. This pagoda is a typical ancient structure emphasized with red colors and curved roofs; and carvings of dragons, lions, turtles, and a phoenix symbolic of power, courage, longevity and wealth.

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At the end of main road is a 3-acre vacant lot where kids in the village gather every weekend to play various kinds of games or fly their colorful kites. This spot is also the place where kids from the surrounding villages flock in to compete their beautiful self-made lamps in celebration of the annual mid-autumn festival. The nearby rice fields, small farms spotted in large meadows, lemon and orange groves, and gardens full of sweet smells create a mood of collective beauty. The thick screen of green bambo o trees and the long range of lofty mountains increase its soothing allure. For me, my village is not only a pleasant place to live in. It is also a friend - a dear and close one who shares joys and sorrows. In my village I have all my relatives with whom I am closely bound to. My beloved ancestors have their eternal sleep under the ground there. As for me, my village keeps so many childish memories: Climbing mountains, wandering in meadows, and searching for crickets and grasshoppers. Never shall I forget that rainy night, when I joked with my friends, while outdoors the rains and winds were moaning through a damp atmosphere of a continual drizzle. Monotonous drops of water falling persistently on the roofs and on the ground performed a long musical background song. I felt as if I were lost in a dreamy world. Outside, in the garden, there was a thick curtain of darkness where I could hardly see any drops of rain. But this, in the flash of lightning, looked like millions of bright diamonds, which were falling from the vast, purple sky and then melting immediately into liquid . Leaning out of my window, I looked through the rain, trying to see or hear something of interest to me, but it was only the rain – falling.

The house that I lived in is a very old house. The garden is large, part of it is smooth grass, which my grandfather kept well cut; and half of it was a fruit orchard, where peaches grow and starfruit trees, tamarind trees, plum trees, guava trees, orange trees, and jackfruit trees flourished. In the spring when the peaches are in flower, and the oranges blossom fill the air with perfume, it is a pleasant place indeed. My house has two stories. Upstairs there are four large rooms, used as bed room s. The downstairs we use a living room where we entertain visitor and have our family meals. In the basement, my grandfather kept all of his valuable things, such as, old tapes, pictures, and books. At each spot, each corner, wherever I turn through it s length and breadth, I feel linked with it by so many memories.

Especially in my living room where I spent so many pleasant hours with my family. We used to eat in the living room, watch TV, and talk stories. The living room is where my grandfather and my father displayed all their favorite collections, from antiques to craft-wares. My grandfather also set up an alter for my grandmother in a corner of our living room. In our back yard there's a well about 150 feet deep. My grandfather also built a small bathroom next to the well for family convenience; since the only source of water supply in the country side of VietNam, at that time, was from the well. There was also a small pool, about 100 square feet, in our back yard where my father used to grow fish as an alternate sources of protein for our family.

A child I was, an adult I am, and an old woman I shall be. As for my village, it has been undergoing changes, but in spite of those changes, my relations with my village will always remain the same and forever will be. This friendship will always be with me in my memory, in my blood for as long as I shall live. This mental treasure increases year after year, and ferments slowly but surely the eternal attachment between myself, and my descendants, and my precious native village.
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