Seeded Memories of A-Ma’s Garden – HS Insider
As I recall the golden memories of my childhood, I remember so vividly the moment I was introduced to gardening for the first time. It wasn’t a revelation that completely changed my outlook on nature or a life-changing event, but a little lesson planted in me that ended up being something I can now appreciate.
It all started in the kitchen, like all good things, and I was helping my a-ma (grandmother) cook her famous Lu Rou Fan (braised pork rice). I asked her about the secret of her cooking, and of course love was the answer, but how the rich and tasty aroma of soy sauce permeated the kitchen when she opened the bubbling pot of dark meat. baked in spices, I harassed her again for a response – the love couldn’t be felt. A slew of “ayahs” left her lips, leaving me disoriented, and she motioned for me to follow her into the backyard.
The tasty aroma was quickly left behind and replaced by the earthy smell of dirt and the crisp air stung my nose. We walked over to a small patch of land cut up in the garden, and my mom started picking some fresh rosemary, motioning for me to follow.
I enthusiastically began to follow his movements but as my hungry hands prepared to ravage the plants, my a-ma stopped me, showing me his patient and methodical picking methods.
As an annoyed sigh left my lips, she scolded me for my impatience. I responded by saying that they were just plants and that they were going to end up being eaten anyway. A melancholy sigh escaped her, and she city Confucius: “Everything is beautiful, but not everyone sees it. ”
The old proverb kept ringing in my head. We quickly moved to a piece of land that contained green onions. Digging, my nose close to the earth, I inhaled deeply the slightly peppery smell of the onion. My mother then dug her hands into the earth and roughly pulled the stubborn green onion out of the soil. I was a little surprised at the hidden strength of my a-ma.
She then carefully dusted the dirt from all the crevices and rinsed the plants with a garden hose. I followed her, not quite matching her efficient pace from all the years of seasoned experience, but mostly I observed her dedication and hard work to care for each plant. His meticulous work and focused gaze left me speechless, and I took the time to simply admire the plants.
As my thoughts rocked, I found myself discouraged that the plants were wilting. I found a shriveled plant and plucked it from its roots to analyze it.
As another sigh escaped me, my a-ma told me that the “aborted” plants could still be used to make a delicious meal. It was her way of telling me that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.
In retrospect, the importance of gardening to me had grown much more than I expected. When the pandemic hit, I found myself going back to plants, taking on the role of gardener, and creating my own little garden.
While it doesn’t necessarily look like my mom’s safe haven, I do feel right at home, and that’s really all I need. These days, I pray that I will soon be able to visit him in Taiwan, see how his new haven has developed there. I hope to create new memories like Lu Rou Fan’s with her, but for now, I will take care of my own garden as a desire for hers.