There was a blizzard, they said, when the gift came. Just white upon white upon white and here, a miracle. Somewhere, a dream being born. Miracle for something to come alive in the stinging cold--at the center of a bleached world. Miracle, and a gift, for a dream to be born a hair shy of the bells tolling. Counting down to the end
of this life. When the snows melted back into clouds. Into the colors of eggs being cracked that become the setting for sausages sizzling in early morning. Awake, to the chirping of life and the cracking of dawn. As the aroma of bread crept its way up the stairs, to my nose, out the window. To the hens who roused and the rooster who called. The rooster who called to the mountains who sang in his wake. To wake the world of its mirage
colored blue as the sky-maybe bluer. Same sky same sun same snow, if only those excited. Sky into sea. Everything was sea. Sea-blue mosques atop sea-kissed stones. The sea made its way through the stones, touching land. The land, touched by water, turned holy. Sprouting life, sprouting hope, sprouting dreams...sprouting weeds
made of ocean. Snow into salt. Salt that burrowed in rice and hid between spices. No barrier between ocean and market, sand and salt. Salt and spices and salt and markets. Markets where people gathered, squawking like gulls. Sun into bird. Loud gull that never sleeps. Loud and obnoxious with trumpets for beaks that can only be calmed by
simit. The feeders of the world. Proud CIMMYT trophy on my father’s wall. Wall littered with drawings, where crayons bleed blue and yellow and red, depicts a sunset over sea. The trophy basks in light of center stage. Meanwhile, the cherished drawings hangs over desk, over books, above the door next to the window. Is my scribbled masterpiece of lone crayon bird flying off into sun, free
from time? Does it chase the sun in circles? Soaring higher and higher and higher until it falls into orbit? Or is it frozen? Frozen still in that second, wings basking in the sun’s light, forever. Are photographs just bits of frozen time? Are they capsules for sacred moments? The sun in her hair, a halo. The light in her smile brighter than a million stars; she holds the baby. Frozen forever in that miraculous moment in the sky-blue/sea-blue nursery. Can you see her wings, lifted like angles, having been given life’s greatest gift? Can you tell that encompassing this blue-tinted photograph lies a bleached world? A frozen world. Cold and white, snow swirling and swirling as the bells were ringing and ringing. Gift born a hair shy of the beginning of the end.