After strolling around the pagoda, you may wish to find a place to take a rest. My favorite seat is at a set of rock table and stools by a well and a lotus lake. I enjoy sitting in silence to enjoy the white lotus and violet water-lilies bathing in the last sun-drops of a day. By the edge of the lake, there stands a thatched roof pavilion where the monks often sit around to study or relax on sunny days. On the zigzag bamboo bridge, which links the pavilion to the other side, there seats a monk in the posture of a blooming lotus. He is reading a book without caring about the pagoda-goers nor the chirping sound of the insect around.
In some elderly people’s mind, nhà rường is a sweet memory. My history teacher echoes how he enjoyed lying down on a cool and hard-wood plank bed by the window of his grandfather’s nhà rường in hot summer afternoons whenever he starts to talk about the old days. Back then, he was a little boy and was often lulled with old poems recited by his grandfather who was fanning him with a paper fan. For after so many years have passed, his voice is still mixed with pride and nostalgia every time he narrates about his mandarin grandfather and the nhà rường.