Sunflower on the plateau

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When the cold, dry winds blow through the canopy of the old forest, when the bright yellow sunlight passes over the top of the high mountain, the wild sunflowers rise up and wake up, on the red basalt ground, instantly burning with a brilliant yellow color. Under the clear blue sky of the highlands, the weather will be cold, the slopes of wild sunflowers swaying with the wind, becoming a warm winter in the memories of many people…

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The roads in the mountain town of Kon Tum are filled with yellow flowers

When I was a young student, on the bus from Saigon to Tet holiday, I always arrived in Gia Lai in the early morning, when I struggled to wake up. Peeking out the car window, suddenly met a magical scene: Wild sunflowers covered with yellow mountain slopes, floating in the wind, crawling down the valley far away,… The yellow color of wild sunflowers overwhelmed my eyes, stretching endlessly, endlessly. end. Enthusiastically admiring the flowers, the road from Gia Lai to Kon Tum suddenly became shorter and my heart swelled with joy, an indescribable excitement, it sounded like spring air rising.

Many years later, I graduated from school and started a career far from home. Only during Tet did I have time to return to my hometown. I carried my father’s tiny, light green 50th trophy and walked around the mountain town of Kon Tum. Starting from Truong Chinh slope, I drove slowly to Dao Duy Tu street, passing through Bac Kan, heading to KonKlor Suspension Bridge. Standing on this suspension bridge, looking at the vast flower slopes at the foot of the suspension bridge, gently closing your arms in the cold air and wild highland winds. Wild sunflowers are most beautiful in the early morning dew, when the flowers have just opened, their bright yellow color, smooth petals, interspersed between the green leaves, creating a The beauty is both wild and pure. Before this flower could fade, another flower quickly bloomed, one after another, like a never-ending wave… Wild sunflowers do not have a strong fragrance but have a special, acrid smell. So when you see these beautiful flowers, be careful. The flower stems are very tough and difficult to pick. Even if you can pick them, your hands will be strong. The pungent smell is not pleasant at all.

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Flower buds clustered in the morning sunlight. Wild sunflowers are as bright as a tiny sun.
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The flower petals flutter in the wind.

This flower has not yet withered and there is another flower

rush to bloom, like a continuous, endless wave of flowers.

Wild sunflowers are also known by many other names such as: Chrysanthemum, Mountain anemone, Wild Sunflower, Mexican Sunflower, Nitobe Chrysanthemum,… their homeland is far away in Central America. Coming to Vietnam, wild sunflowers were first planted by the French in Da Lat. I don’t know when, the wild sunflower flower came to the land of the Northern Central Highlands – Kon Tum. I only know that with its beauty, the wild sunflower flower is no longer simply a faded, roadside flower but has been loved by many people. , mentioning names, creeping into memories and memories. The old story goes: A long time ago, in a far away village, there was a boy K’lang of the mountains and forests who loved H’limh of the stream dearly. Every day, K’lang goes into the forest to hunt wild animals, while H’lin skillfully weaves a blanket to carry her husband’s palanquin (because according to the tribe’s custom, before getting married, a daughter must weave a beautiful blanket to carry her husband’s palanquin). to her husband’s house). Then at night they gather around to light fires and dance and sing with the villagers in the village. Their happy, happy life continued to pass. One day when H’limh waited until nightfall but still did not see K’lang return from hunting, she was worried and went from the village to look for K’lang. She kept walking, walking and walking, going through dozens of streams, ten I’ve been through the mountains but I can’t see my lover anywhere. So tired, she fell asleep. In her dream, she saw K’lang calling her and telling her to go one more stream and meet him there. She was startled and then continued to the end of the source. She saw K’lang being tied up by the villains of the La diligent tribe. La Rihm is the son of the patriarch. He loves H’limh dearly but does not reciprocate. He angrily tries to harm K’lang. Because she loved K’lang, H’limh, despite the arrows and spears piercing her flesh, was still determined to protect her lover until she was hit by the last poisonous arrow and fell down forever. Since then, every October, the place where H’limh died has bloomed a bright yellow flower. People often call it wild sunflower. Flowers spread everywhere on the plateau, glowing with intense vitality like the faithful love of H’limh and K’bang.

Wild sunflowers are always present in my childhood with sweet memories: a round wreath worn on my head, discolored petals pressed in old notebook pages, a pretty little flower hastily pinned to my hair,… Even though It only burned briefly, but that yellow color was still a warm spark, warming the winter in the mountain town:

“One day I saw golden sunshine somewhere

One day, I saw golden sunshine spreading along the roadside

Oh! It’s just a wild sunflower on a sunny day

Splendid nostalgia.”

(Do Trung Quan)

Ha Oanh