Friday, March 21, 2008

كل حبة من ترابك قلب ولهفة ام تنادينا

I wanted to write this post in Arabic bass the Arabic keyboard is still on its way to me, somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.

I have been in Lebanon for 21 days so far and it has been an amazing time, especially lately with the Holy week celebrations. Erba3it Yaacoub, Khamiss el Asrar, Ziyarit 7 kneyis, Samd el Erben, Darb el Salib in the village streets, Dafn el Massi7, Sabt el Nour and the church bells at noon then the Midnight Easter Mass, and Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday. 21 years have passed since I last celebrated this Holy occasion in my hometown, the way I know it, the way I love it and the way I missed it…

During all these celebrations, I have seen most of my old friends and neighbors. 21 years passed since I have seen most of these people, and in these past few days, every time I smiled at someone and said “Mar7aba”, seeing their eyes open wide, calling my name “Clothilde?” or “Coco?”, smiling at me and hugging, was seriously the most amazing feeling in the world. Seeing them again, feeling the honesty in the way they greeted me erased all my years away, all my aches of exile and gave me back the love I was missing in my life... Today I am complete! I am back, as if I have never left!

Everything is back to normal, the mountain view from everywhere I look, the sea at the side of the highway just as it should be, the lights of the cities and villages in the hills at night, the snow on the far away mountain tops, the smell of nature, the taste of vegetables and fruits, and most importantly the good people of Lebanon. How did I survive without all that for so long?

How can one stand to be so far away from all these blessings? Did I mention the weather? The way it warms up to the sun, the blooming trees, the wild flowers filling the fields, the calm sea, the sun rising from behind the mountains and sleeping in the sea, the sound of the birds, the church bells and the prayers in the mosques? Even the honking passing cars, the neighbors calling each others from one house to the other as if there’s no one else between them, the kids playing and shouting in the streets… It’s all part of normal Lebanon. Lebanon is normal, Lebanon is beautiful just the way it is, Lebanon is my country, Lebanon is where I belong.

flowers of the fields
Today, March 21st, spring started with its sun hugging us with its warmth and comfort. Today I am blooming with the wild flowers in the fields. Today I am complete…