The Roots of Everlasting Happiness
translated by Aung Aung Taik
As the Pittsburgh spring finally arrived, I began to see some stores displaying packages of vegetable seeds and bags of soil and fertilizers. Sometimes, on the sidewalks, I saw shops selling colorful and strikingly beautiful flowers.
Perhaps because I was brought up in Maletto, a small village in Burma’s delta region, I have a great interest in gardening. In front of our long-legged house, there is a mango and a coconut tree that my mother planted.
During one rainy season, as I was bathing in the Maletto Creek which flows behind our house, a small plant floated by. I took it home, padded it with some coconut husk and tied it with a Thinoo rope to the trunk of our coconut tree. It rained almost every day, and my orphan scion grew quite well. At the beginning of summer, three or four stalks with buds appeared. I was so happy to see them.
One morning, I woke up and opened the front door to see the coconut tree. I clapped my hands and cried out “Dear God!” There they were: Four stalks of ruby red orchids in bloom.
Suddenly a motto I learned when I was a child came to mind, “Grow trees for everlasting happiness.”
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