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Like an almond blossom

Spring leaves me anxious for its arrival. The smell of the blossoms and the perfect breeze that is neither hot nor cold. I would not be exaggerating when I say that this season crosses my mind everyday. The images do not blur with the passing of time. They are renewed with the passing of each February and the beginning of every March.

This winter was coloured with various shades of hardship. On the morning when Muhammad [Al-Qeeq] and I woke up to clean the rugs, a task that took us all day, I was not aware that we would not spend the rest of the winter together in our warm home. I was not aware that this winter would be different from all of the other days that we grew accustomed to living together, in its sweetness and its bitterness. After all, even the bitter days have something sweet in them and their companionship.

I used to appreciate admiring the almond blossoms whenever I had a chance during my commute from one district to another. This happened almost every day. I also always carried with me a letter from my husband who was lying in a hospital bed withering away in pain. It is a glorious letter filled with a message of dignity that everyone must hear no matter how difficult it may be. I take a gander among the almond trees, which are known for the ripe greenery throughout the year and for their battle with harsh rains and winds all on its own.

These days are indescribable and I would not try to describe them even if I could because the feelings I refer to cannot be explained. One must continue without fear and so, I clamped down on my emotions as the emotional wife or the worried mother. I put on the cover that I needed to wear, which was to go out into the public because I was fighting for the required momentum and strength.

I would avoid looking at every picture that emerged from there or any footage and I would try to finish my task without letting sadness find its way to me. If I surrendered or regressed the consequences would be negative beyond repair. It would have also raised concerns in the hearts of all those surrounding us, including the hypocrites. Yes, the decision was harsh but it was required at this stage.

On one of the days during the week of protest I opened the window of the vehicle just as we were passing through one of the northern districts: light rose from within me the moment I set my eyes on the almond blossoms though I do not know where this light came from. It came to me just as I set my eyes on the white blossoms of the almond tree. I felt a sense of pride and acceptance, as I looked at this tree yield beautiful flowers despite the harshness of winter over past few months.

This moment came merely a few hours before we heard news that the beginning of an agreement had begun that would end my husband’s suffering of nearly 100 days after he was placed in administrative detention for the entire cold and snowy winter.

Yes, the almond blossoms come at their own time. Our dreams intersect with one dear truth and that is that as our precious bodies wither away, we prove that we are a nation of people who love life and because of our love for it we find a way. We do not like death or hunger. We do not like to live on water alone but this is the message to the oppressed: either we live free or we die with our dignity.

Translated from PaliInfo, 7 March 2016.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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