Monday, July 14, 2008

Bethlehem: the things that made me cry [the woman and her plums]

A woman selling plums. Sitting in the dirt, with her beautiful Palestinian brocade. The traditional garment of a loving, laughing, people.

Our guide calls her 'haji' -- a term of respect. A recognition of her age. Of her dignity.

He asks her where she's from. She tells him the name of her village. A village cut off by the wall. She shows us her plums. Picked that day from her trees. Her beloved trees, growing on land that was always hers. Now separated by concrete and guards.

She had so many once. Trees growing strong and tall. Now there are only two.

She stood in line for hours. To exit the gate. To pick her fruit. To return and sell them here, in the dirt. She does it every day, she says. It's a long process; a hard fight. But what is she to do? The trees are all she has.

Like children, they are loved for being hers. For existing.

We turn to leave. She presses the dark plums into our palms, like a blessing.

Or a prayer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Karith, your words are a beautiful reflection of your fierce and compassionate heart. Thank you for these blogs.