I have yet to learn how to grow my own fruits and veggies, but for now, I can appreciate all the love and labor my parents put into our backyard garden. I can remember always eating kumquats growing up. The bitter and sweet skin. Tart middle. Spitting out the tiny seeds.
I’m not sure if their gardening is a newfound love or if it’s only been recently that I’ve paid closer attention.
But our family’s history has always been rooted in the earth. In tending its soil. Ma ma (grandma on mommy’s side) would tell me stories of her working on the farm in Vietnam. Sugarcane and rice. She would say that if someone walked all the way to the other side, you could barely see them because they were so small – like a child!
I would paint her words into images in my mind. Brown hues. If I close my eyes hard enough, I think I can see her at the other end. Her sun soaked skin, rough hands, and arched back. A breeze in the humid weather.
Mommy and bah’s garden is full of greens, yellow, and orange. Sort of a collective effort, it’s grown to include plants shared by friends and family. When any fruits grow, they’re shared.
Slowly, I’m learning to appreciate all of this, reimagining my relationship to the land and learning so much about community, growth, and love from these fruits and veggies.