The Roots of Everlasting Happiness

by Khet Mar    /  August 19, 2009  / No comments

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.”

Click here to read Khet Mar’s bio.

About the Author

Khet Mar is a staff writer at Sampsonia Way. A former writer-in-residence at City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, Khet Mar is a journalist, novelist, short story writer, poet, and essayist from Burma. She is the author of one novel, Wild Snowy Night, as well as several collections of short stories, essays and poems. Her work has been translated into English and Japanese, been broadcast on radio, and made into a film. In the fall of 2007, Mar was a visiting fellow at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.

View all articles by Khet Mar

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