My Heart is a Ladle of Sweet Water

It was early evening, the sun bathing the city in a warm gilded light as I exited the Educational Bookshop. I was hauling my pirate’s bounty of books the short distance to my favorite dinner spot, lost in thought. I had been reflecting on the purge-like quality my writing had taken on during my time in Palestine when I saw her.
Despite her age she stood as straight as a ruler, hobbling from side to side as she walked towards me, the heavy burden of her shopping bags weighing her down. Her skin was softly wrinkled into countless folds like a well-read love letter, and she was dressed head to toe in black; hijab, abaya, even the creaky sandals she wore. A cigarette vendor was stacking mountains of Marlboros on the sidewalk, narrowing the path so that only a trickle of people could pass at a time. We were walking opposite directions of each other, and would cross within inches of each other.
As we approached the openings of this finger trap-like path, I smiled at her. Let’s face it – grandmothers are probably the most adorable creatures on the face of the earth, and this one was no different. Rather than returning the smile, her face clamped down in suspicion.
“Marhaba,” I said, continuing to smile, as we were within a foot of each other.
All at once her face transformed, she smiled back at me, her beetle black eyes shining and her face luminous. We held each other’s gaze and smile as we passed shoulder to shoulder, both of us looking back at the other and giggling in response.
..And then it was done..
It was a moment, a single breath in a lifetime of billions, but it was a moment of utter mindfulness. My mind wasn’t worrying, wasn’t planning, wasn’t occupied with anything else other than Teta. No words were exchanged, other than my greeting, but my heart – a ladle of sweet water, overflowing – was genuinely open to her. We ARE brothers and sisters, perhaps even in a way more important than blood; we share the same origin in the Creator.
As the pendulum continues to swing toward the fear mongering and racist alt-right, it is now more than ever that we need to recognize the bond between us. We need to realize it, and own it to our very bones. The powers that be are on a focused mission to divide us and make us fear each other for our differences. I urge you not to fall prey, but to stand against the rising tide of hate and join hands with your global family that needs you. We need to love and support each other – and we need to focus our attentions on people who are being brutalized, and speak out against the immorality and inhumanity being visited upon them. We cannot wait until injustice touches our very lives – and, Americans… it’s arriving at our doorstep this moment – to become involved. By then it’s too late.
With love and peace.

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