Someone told me this, “Your childhood is very important to you because it will determine who you are in the future.” I totally agree because I believe my first 16-years of life determined the rest of my life. In this blog, I want to share my childhood in Vietnam before moving to America 9 years ago.
Walking around Kaohsiung Medical University, I have noticed some trees that are reminiscent of my memories of school in Vietnam. Terminalia catappa is a large tropical tree in the leadwood tree family that grows in the tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and Australia. Terminalia catappa is a part of my memories because I used to play around the tree from elementary school through middle school. With big leaves, I can use them as a fan during hot weather as well. Schools like to have terminalia catappa trees in campus because they grow to 35 m (115 ft) tall; they are grown for the deep shade its large leaves provide.
Delonix regia is another tree that sticks with my childhood in Vietnam, especially summers. You can find this tree in the tropical regions of Asia as well. The flowers of Delonix regia are large, with four spreading scarlet or orange-red petals up to 8 cm long, and a fifth upright petal called the standard, which is slightly larger and spotted with yellow and white. The flowers of Delonix regia start to bloom in the beginning of summer which means time to say “goodbye.” It’s a sad time for High School senior students in Vietnam because they move to different cities to study and pursue their dreams. They share their journals, letters, and pictures to each other including the flowers of Delonix regia.
Another tree that is a part of my childhood is Largerstroemia speciosa (giant crape-myrtle) which is a species of Largerstroemia native to tropical southern Asia. Referring to the purple lilies flower, people usually describe giant crape-myrtle as representing pure love and the innocence of students, since they don’t need to care much about life and money. Purple often carries a feeling of affection and also looks sad, so the flowers of giant crape-myrtle are purple with a slight sadness, like separation.
I love the rain. However, San Diego doesn’t have a lot of rain throughout the year which makes me sad. I used to play under the rain in Vietnam when I was a kid. My childhood comes back to me whenever I see rain. During Summer in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, I will see a lot of rain, especially in July.
I used to hate my childhood because I thought my childhood was boring. I did not have a lot of money to buy fancy toys or hang out like other kids did. Now, I have realized that my childhood was not boring, like I thought. It’s valuable to me because it taught me how to love people around me and respect what I have. For those people who read this blog, what do you remember the most in your childhood?