I want to go back to the time when my mother and I were always together. Before my brother and sister were born, I was the only one more than five years. Because of that, my mother was the most memorable friend in my childhood. My mother used to take me along her everywhere she went. Going to our family’s houses and neighborhood, to the market, to the river, or to our farm.
The most unforgettable moment in my childhood was when my mother got an extremely hard illness. For many days, my mother was only on the bed. She was not able to get up, cook, or do another household. I felt so sad because she could not play with me. I was taken care by my father. I often cried. That was not because I did not like my father, but I missed the kindness of my mother. When her healing was successful, I felt very blissful.
My favorite part was going to the farm along with my mother. I liked her strorytelling during our journey. About her childhood. About my granny who passed away when my mother was a teenager. About fruit of the forest that I had never seen before. About the rice field which was not in my village. I was always amazed when she told all of those. Particularly, the story of Hylobates agilis (in my village, it is called ungko). It is an animal like monkey. Ungko was my mother pet when she was young.
Our farm was a memorable place in my childhood. Planting grain and vegetables with my mother. Using the scarecrow to chase the wild boar and the sparrow away of our farm. Laying a naped on the hut. Putting cassava and banana to the ember and loudly singing while waiting they were ripened and then eating them ravenously. Because of the heat, I would gasp to breath. My palm of hand and my cheek would be black because I also unintentionally hold the charcoal.
Journey back to the home was more fabulous. I run through the whole of way. I was cheerily barefoot walking on the grassland while catching many grasshoppers. When the sun was going down beyond the horizon, the orange sun’s rays fell on the spine of buffalo. I was very delightful seeing the heron on the buffalo’s back. In my thought, heron is the prettiest birds in the world.
Sometimes, my mother involved me to pick up Limnocharis flava. We call it genjer, a kind of vegetable that grows on the marsh. My feet were muddy. Occasionally, I shouted because of the leech clinging on my calf. But I was not scare of doing it anymore. Trying to catch the small fish moving freely between the stem of genjer’s leaves. Another part that I liked so much was picking delicious mushroom in the woods.
Many kinds of mushroom will grow after the rainy season. In my village, mushroom is named as tenawan. Tenawan kuke and tenawan puteh are kinds of mushroom growing on rotten wood. Tenawan dadeh will grow around buffalo’s stall. There is a fairy tale about tenawan dadeh in my village. It was arisen from drop of buffalo’s milk falling on the ground. I do not know whether the story is true or not. I do not care about the truth of the story.
My mother and I would sleep in our farm when the rice ripened. My mother taught me reading Qur’an below the light of oil lamp. When twilight had fled, my mother opened our window to see the moon while telling about the stars. Their constellation were guidance for the farmer to make certain about the season. When dry season comes, the river will be shallow. Stones on the basic river were clearly seen because of the pure water. There were many kinds of fish swimming around my feet when I immersed them in the water.
I love the rural ambiance so much, but all of those is old story. Since I have been staying in the town because of my school, going back to the village is the most difficult things. I return home twice or three times a year. It is only to meet up with my families. I do not have time to go to our farm, to the river, or to the forest. Beside of that, the nature of my village is contaminated. The river is muddy because of illegal gold excavation. I miss every moment that I had in my childhood. More than everything, I miss my togetherness with my mother. Yesterday, nowadays, and forever my mother is the most precious thing that has been given by Allah to me.Karya : Melda Taspika