28th August, Late Evening
Last night, after a very silent dinner, Papa took me aside and told me to prepare for a trip to the hills early in the morning. We were to set off before dawn and we, meaning I, was not to tell anyone, especially Mama. Papa then sent me off to pack a basket of gardening tools and to bring another empty one for our trip.
Our day started so early, I was still bleary eyed and woozy as I stumbled closely behind Papa, mostly in the dark. I was therefore totally unprepared for what was before me as we approached the hills.
My dear Diary, I wish you have eyes so you can see it for yourself this magical, most beautiful garden that God has created for us. A whole mountain covered in blue! When we got closer, we had a chance to examine these flowers up close and they really were quite magnificent. According to Papa, these flowers were called kurinji and that they bloomed only once in 12 years.
Papa told me that he had never missed a trip to the hills every time the kurinji bloomed. His first trip was with his own father and it was so special that he wanted each of his child's first experience with the kurinji mountain to be with him. I have no words to describe the beauty of what I saw. I just know that when I turn 21, I will be back there, when the kurinji next flower. Hopefully, I will have learnt enough words by then.
Both of us spent some time harvesting enough kurinji to fill the empty basket I was carrying. Papa planned to plant these in our garden. A peace offering to Mama, he said.
Papa taught me how to pick the ones that could flower again without having to wait twelve years for the next bloom. With careful tending, our kurinji may very well grace our porch again when I turn 10 next year.
Mama was out at the neighbour's when we got back so we quickly went to work, going without lunch. Papa let me use the blue spade which he said had been in the family for three generations. I was so proud I worked harder than usual.
We made very good progress at first and finished the 1st part of the garden fairly quickly. This was where I spent the most time in, mainly with vegetables. I think this is going to be my favourite spot from now on.
The later part did not go quite as smoothly. I think the blazing sun and our hunger slowed us down because before we could finish, Mama had returned.
Oh my, you should have heard Mama! She made both Papa and I jumped out of our skins with her screams. Screams of delight, of course. I think her tears were streaming down her face when she ran to hug us. She kept saying "So beautiful, so wonderful, you brought the miracle kurinji home! I cannot believe it, I cannot believe it..so beautiful, so wonderful.." and on and on.
And then she asked if we had eaten and when we shook our heads, she hurried us into the house so she could prepare some lunch for us. She hushed us when we told her we had not finished with the planting.
As Mama prepared the food, I slipped out to watch our garden again.
And as I walked back and peeped through our kitchen window, I thought I saw Mama hugging Papa and kissing him. It was hard to see through the broken blinds. But I definitely heard her say to him " I am so lucky I have you."
I don't think they will be quarrelling about bottles for a while.