The account of Kim, which opens this powerful short story, is one that sets the tone for the rest of the text. The theme that stands out from her story of wanting to plant the seeds in memory of her father who died ten years ago in Vietnam after being a farmer all of his life, and never knew his daughter, allows her to make an important connection between her life in America and his life back home. It is an important act that reaffirms her identity and gives her hope for the future, as the following quote describes:
He would watch my beans break ground and spread, and would notice with pleasure their pods growing plump. He would see my patience and my hard work. I would show him that I could raise plants, as he had. I would show him that I was his daughter.
The theme of hope and also of identity comes through incredibly strongly, and in particular what is so important for Kim, as for so many other characters in this story, the act of planting seeds and tending them becomes a vital link to their cultural identity and their original homeland. However, overall, the theme of hope is characterised in turning this vacant parking lot into a place where new life is nurtured, grown and cherished.