Two Hometowns

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May 29, 2021

I have traveled far to this small town where my parents grew up as a child. The last time I visited here was nearly three years ago. I have come to cherish that I am from two spectacular places. My first home is Vienna, Virginia, and it is the place I was born and have grown from a baby into a child. But this small town in China is my family’s hometown. It is where the tall grey mountains stand high above the clouds and the farm plantation that produces many fresh vegetables and fruits. When we arrive at my grandparents’ house, they enclose us in warm hugs, and their smiles of joy tell me how much they have missed me. A large waiting feast of melting hot pot, tender peking duck slathered in oil sauce, kung pow chicken with the crunchy peanuts’s aroma all flow gently in the room. My aunt’s dog, since I visited last— wears toothy grins and shaggy fur. Right away he drags to go outside to play. Outside, the rooster crows, the grass whistles, the chatting of many children fill the morning air. After many helpings of the steaming hot pot, with bits of aromatic chicken for dinner, I lick my mung bean popsicle, a Chinese treat. The sky slowly turns dark. We sit and talk and catch up on each other’s lives. My grandma smiles to see how tall I’ve grown and the beautiful young women I’ve come to be. My aunt’s dog curls up in his basket to take a nap. That night when I went to bed, I brushed my teeth and dressed in cozy chinese pajamas, thinking of how lucky I am to be from two breathtaking places. Despite the distance, my two hometowns are never far in my heart. Through the window of the bedroom at my grandmother’s house, the faint sound of rain dripping on the window, dogs barking, and the raging wind against the high mountains seem to compose a song of hope, joy and happiness in Chinese, echoing deeply in my dream.

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2 thoughts on “Two Hometowns”
  1. Venita,

    I can feel how much you love “where you are from” and “where you are originally from.” I love every place that I live and I lived.

    Xi

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