Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Tam Nguyen

I never thought that a pure, white diamond really existed. I laughed when my Dad told me: “Come on, sweety, we are going to see the diamond!” I said to him, “It will not make us full or make money. I want to sleep more! I want to get up late and lie with my warm blanket.” But he still got me up and took me out into the yard. He gave me a glass of hot tea and pointed to the droplets on the leaves, saying “Those are all the pure diamonds”

The early mornings in the highlands of Viet Nam are cool and fresh with mists hanging in midair. The sun peaks through the coffee leaves, casting shadows on the ground, as though the sun in waltzing through the morning.

There were dew drops on the leaves. They were beautiful, glittering in the early morning sun. I played with them, collecting all the tiny tear drops on my glass. I wonder why we had the dew drops because my Dad had not watered the trees yet.

They came from the air, an essence. The mists made them when the temperature and humidity were just right. The process has been working all night before while I was sleeping, relaxed and enjoying my dreams. The earth was still working hard.

While I was playing with the dew drops, my Dad told me about the tear drops. He told me whenever I understand about meaning of a tear drop, I will have an different angle on life. I would appreciate how much life has given me so many wonderful things. The tear drop from mother’s eyes will be forever. She always cares for her children and her family. The sweaty drop from father will be different because he will work and protect his family and provide the food and a house to live. The impurity of sweat and tears is purified by the love of a mother and father.

It was made a pure diamond. It was without price for value. I watched the colors of dew drops with different colors. One is pure, one is have colorful, and another glitters. The dew drops never break down. They just break into two other tear drops when I try to cut it and when I fold the leaf together the tear drop will come together. It was a game that did not last long for me because the sun came up, and all of them disappeared. They dried out.

The value is understanding it! It came from the ideas. We named the dew drop a diamond. The talent of human is one of elements make difference of world. The pure diamond never has the value as the value of working to change the value of world.

The molecules of dew are so wonderful because of flexible of form. They begin from water molecules, and from there they form dew, snow, ice, and water. All these things are process of water to change from water to gas, liquid, solid. Playing with dew drop was a game for me since I was a little girl at country village. Dew drop was evaporated just wonder for me that because of the sun, and the sun was seem as an enemy for dew drop. I was hearing my Dad tell me a story more than listening to him the meaning which he tried to tell me. Years later, I comprehend it. My Dad kept my childhood full of story. It did not make full my stomach of food. But dew drop gave me a wonderful game and a point to thinking. I appreciated my Dad took me out into the yard at early morning and show me dew.

The wonder when I came to Flagstaff in the winter. I looked out from window at the snow, the ice, the crystals, the icicles. It was field of diamonds. The sky was blue. Snow danced with light from sun bright and clear. I opened the door. I freeze-dried. I ran back get mittens, hat, coat, gloves. No more dew drop but crystals.

Tam Nguyen is a Master Gardener and a student at NAU and The Literacy Center. She is taking her oath of citizenship on December 19. Dana Prom Smith edits GARDENING ETCETERA for the Arizona Daily Sun and emails at  This article appear in the AZDS on Saturday, December 17, 2011,

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