The scent of milk flowers in the wind
Green rice scent in your little hands
Leave a fragrance in your footsteps.
Trinh Cong Son’s song, Nho Mua Thu Ha Noi (Missing Hanoi’s Autumn), would play on my neighborhood’s old loudspeaker when I was a little kid.
The indelible memory that evokes extraordinary beauty is refreshed anew every October as I wake up, open the window and a calm and gentle breeze ruffles my hair.
The sun seems mellowed, too.
There are fragrances and hints of fragrances in the air, lingering like a pleasant aftertaste.
When it all seems like a beautiful dream, I know autumn is here, here in Hanoi.
Autumn in Hanoi is a transcendent season. It becomes the muse for poets, musicians and artists, and it becomes the muse that makes everyone’s heart sing.
It casts a spell on everything – the air, the space, the food, the drinks, the fruits.
I was born in Hanoi, and have lived here all my life. Yet, I fall in love every year, at this time of the year.
The spring brings in warmth after a biting cold winter, and the a scorching summer follows. It rains. Then, autumn steps in gracefully, bringing cool, gentle breezes and sunlight that sprinkles just the right amount of warmth all around. The sky smiles a brilliant smile. The leaves of huge trees turn red, reddish brown, yellow and other hues that adorn Hanoi in this season.
Hoan Kiem Lake (Sword Lake) and West Lake cast peaceful yet stunning sceneries. Cycling or riding a motorbike slowly through the streets of Hanoi at this time is a lovely experience, watching fallen and falling leaves, feeling the soft breeze and soft warmth of the sunlight.