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20/07/2021 - 07:24

An early morning in Bao Vinh

Without the invite from a friend, I could not have had a wonderful experience of beholding the ancient town in sunrise.

Bao Vinh ancient town in an early morning. Photo: Minh Kiet

From Truong Tien Bridge, passing Dong Ba market, going along Huynh Thuc Khang street and turning into Dao Duy Anh, we reached the ancient town. It was early in the morning, so the weather was mild with the river breeze making the sacred fig leaves wobbly.

This street has always been shady by the banyan and sacred fig trees. There are some bending-roofed temple and calm wharves, making the streets of the ancient town melancholic and nostalgic.

It was pleasant to smell the fragrance of the Stream Barringtonia in the breeze while strolling in the early morning. The Stream Barringtonia has already bloomed in June, reddening an area. It was magnificent that the flowers have fallen and carpeted the street.

I tried to walk gently so as not to damage the flower carpet, hoping that those flowers would last longer and make the ancient town more fragrant.

I was sitting at Bao Vinh Wharf in a quiet morning and watch the boat passengers to cross the river. The morning sunshine covered the water surface, making it sparkling. The bright morning made people happy and lively on their way to the market place.

The boats crossing the river back and forth carried the fresh vegetables and fruits from Tien Non to Bao Vinh. The bamboo burden on the hard-working women’s shoulders swinging reminded me of the women in my home town.

They were also busy with heavy bamboo burden on shoulders in the early morning. A morning session of a village market simply need some green Ficus auriculata fruits, some purple banana blossoms, some bamboo shoots, a couple of jackfruits and a few packs of vegetable mix.

My friend said that Bao Vinh has changed, probably because the ancient houses have gone with the passing time. But I thought Bao Vinh has stayed the same, as quiet as it was. The tranquility was found in simple things such as the sight of an old pushing the cart of musa paracoccinea (the wild banana blossoms) to the market.

The old man said that he would cut the red wild flowers in the garden corner and his wife would bring them to the market for sale. As many people love those rustic flowers, they were soon sold out. His wife has been unwell recently, so he brought the flowers to the market because he didn’t want them to get droopy.

I am familiar with musa paracoccinea as they grow in the edges of the garden. My mother often cut some flowers in the garden and put on the ancestor’s altar on the first and the fifteen days of the lunar month.

My friend likes the scarlet of the musa paracoccinea. She puts the flowers in a brown vase, and place it on the altar with care. Despite a lack of fragrance, the wild flower has a ruddy color that makes the living space close, rustic and harmonious.

The sun has risen high and the red color of dawn has been replaced by the yellow of the summer sunshine through the ancient town that perched on the roofs of the houses. The closed wooden doors added to quietness of the town corner. The beauty at dawn pleasantly provoked the memories.

The quietness did not disappear until the noise from a market in the center of the town was heard. Though the town is no longer bustling, it is full of life in its own way.

By Le Ha

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