Saturday, July 31, 2010

Travel Writing: a child born in Bethlehem

I scribbled this in my notebook while staying with a host family in Beit Sahour (next door to Bethlehem).  The family has bullet holes in their home -- a remnant from the 2nd Intifada, when standing on your balcony could be considered a crime.

Babies, I think, may be the international language of love.

All that is needed is one glance at the large, bright eyes, the guarded smiles, the small, pudgy fingers, the wild squeals, and it would take a hard heart to not surrender entirely.

Our host grandmother kisses the fat rolls of the baby's thighs, laughing at the child's delight, cooing at his noises.  Her voice, pitched high, speaks nonsense in his ear.

We watched as the grandfather, a man of few words and severe dignity (who would barely speak in our direction), became a child himself, playing games with his grandson in his arms.  Chuckling in his satisfaction and pride.

And I wish that all the mothers of Palestine could hold all of the babies of Israel, and vice versa.  Maybe then we would not be so quick to kill.

No comments: