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Thứ Tư, 7 tháng 9, 2011

Trung thu trăng sáng

Hầu như suốt tuổi thơ, mình chỉ biết tết trung thu mà không mấy khi được hưởng hương vị ngọt ngào của nó. Cũng dễ hiểu, bởi mình ở nông thôn, nhà nghèo, bố mẹ làm ruộng, thời thơ ấu lại trúng vào đận nghèo đói, chiến tranh, miếng cơm độn khoai chả đủ, nói gì đến bánh trung thu.

Trong ký ức lưu đến giờ, mình vẫn coi trung thu là tết đón trăng của trẻ con. Ngày ấy chỉ tụi trẻ mới khao khát chờ đón rằm tháng tám, chứ người lớn mải lo làm ăn cày cấy, hơi đâu mà thu với chả đông. Với người lớn, đến rằm, dù tháng tám hay tháng mấy đi nữa, thì cúng rằm, vậy thôi. Chỉ có khác là rằm tháng giêng, tháng bảy và tháng tám mâm cúng nhỉnh nhao hơn một chút, và tháng tám cúng tối là chính. Vẫn xôi chè làm đầu, thắp nén hương lên bàn thờ ông bà, khấn chung cả trời đất tổ tiên phù hộ. Ấy là chuyện của người nhớn.

Bánh trung thu, như đã nói, mình trải bao mùa trăng tháng tám nhưng có biết hình dạng nó thế nào. Mãi sau, đến hơn 10 tuổi, khi nhà mình đã vào hợp tác, tối rằm tháng tám năm xa xôi năm nảo năm nào, mình mới được cùng bọn trẻ con, có cả cô Ngọt em mình nữa, vào sân nhà ông Thám đội trưởng sản xuất lĩnh bánh trung thu. Đó là cái bánh nướng, nhân gồm thịt, bột, mứt bí, lạp xường… hình tròn hoặc vuông, nướng ngả màu vàng xém, to cỡ lòng bàn tay. Nhà mình được 4 chiếc, hai bánh nướng, hai bánh dẻo, chỉ cho bọn thiếu nhi thôi, còn anh Uy chị Khoắn lớn rồi, thanh niên rồi không có suất. Hương vị của chiếc bánh trung thu ấy cứ theo mình mãi, cũng chả phải vì nó ngon mà vì lần đầu tiên mình được biết thế nào là bánh trung thu.

Trung thu nông thôn phụ thuộc vào trăng. Tháng tám miền Bắc trời hay mưa. Rằm năm nào trăng sáng thì vui, còn tổ chức trống ếch rước đèn chỗ này chỗ khác. Gặp phải rằm mưa hoặc trời nhiều mây, trung thu buồn thiu buồn thỉu. Nông thôn nửa đầu nhưng năm 60 trở về trước chưa có điện, nên trăng là niềm vui con trẻ. Mà hầu như cũng chỉ kéo nhau tập trung ở sân kho hợp tác chứ chả mấy khi rước đèn đi nhong nhong đường này ngõ nọ như bây giờ.

Đèn trung thu tự làm lấy là chính. Tre pheo sẵn, nhưng giấy bóng kính đỏ hồng xanh vàng phải lên phố huyện mua, mà hiếm lắm, có năm nhặt nhạnh mãi chả được bao nhiêu. Đứa nào khéo tay thì làm đèn kéo quân, đèn lồng, còn loại vụng về như mình chỉ ra được hình ngôi sao 5 cánh hoặc con cá là đã ghê gớm lắm. Kiếm dây thép cuộn thành lò xo gắn vào giữa để nhét ngọn nến. Nhưng có thứ nến khác không phải bằng sáp ong mà rất tuyệt vời, bằng nhân hạt bòng hạt bưởi. Ngay từ tháng 7 ta, nếu ăn bòng bưởi là phải giữ lại hạt, bóc vỏ ra, xỏ vào que tre thật thẳng, xếp khít nhau, đem phơi nắng thật khô. Đêm rằm, lôi những ngọn đuốc ngọn đèn nhỏ xíu xinh xinh bằng hạt bưởi ra đốt thật thú vị. Hạt khô nhưng có tinh dầu, cháy đượm, sáng, nổ lách tách, tỏa mùi thơm dễ chịu, và đặc biệt ra gió chẳng mấy khi tắt.

Mình lớn lên, học hành rồi xa quê, trung thu chỉ còn là hình ảnh nhạt nhòa giữa cuộc mưu sinh đầy vất vả. Mà lớn rồi, quan tâm làm gì. Sau lúc lập gia đình, có con mới lại nghĩ đến trung thu. Tụi trẻ ở thành phố có dạo chỉ quan tâm đến bánh, vì chúng thèm, nhưng khi no đủ rồi chỉ thích đi chơi. Mà cũng chả rước đèn đuốc gì, toàn kéo nhau đàn đúm xem kịch xem phim, hết suất thì về. Trung thu thành phố dường như thiếu hẳn thứ quan trọng nhất: ông trăng. Trăng thành phố chịu lép dưới ánh điện nên vô vị lắm. Cứ mờ mờ nhàn nhạt, dường có dường không. Và buồn làm sao ấy.

Hồi rằm tháng tám năm ngoái, mình hứng chí về quê Hải Phòng đón tết trung thu với mẹ già, các em các cháu. Đầu hai thứ tóc, tuổi vượt ngưỡng tri thiên mệnh, ngồi bên cạnh mẹ đã 94, khung cảnh đầm ấm, chợt bồi hồi như ngày xửa ngày xưa.

Còn 5 đêm nữa là trung thu

Nguyễn Thông

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