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  • Never Are. -Herman Melville

    After a very dusty and windy entrance, the rain started to fall and shortly after we had brilliant skies and even a double rainbow. Seeing the transformation of the weather and sky--from tempestuous dull browns to resplendent blues was enough to make my heart start racing with excitement about my new life here.

    I watched in awe as the dust settled and the streets cleared up a bit only to become more busy after the showers ceased. The man who picked me up from the airport politely pointed out all the foreign embassies and ministries that we passed along our way to my new home. (Since then, every Afghan I have been with has done the same whenever we drive around. I suppose it helps me to get oriented to the city.)

    A dear friend of mine told me she was not sure if I could stay here indefinitely because I love experiencing newness so much. Usually that is true. I am not a very settled soul, but not merely because of my fixation with new things or places or people, instead I think it is because I thrive in motion. I was created to move. Be that as it may, I do believe that this incessant journey, both physical and metaphysical in nature, is rooted in discovering my place in this world. I've searched far and wide for that place, a place I could know and be known, love and be loved, a place where even amidst the humdrum I could enjoy the novelty of each new day. Having scoured and combed far and wide, in and out, up and down, my quest continues. I have not discovered that place by de-boarding any airplane. Knowing that, I have put my suitcase in storage for a while and decided to settle down in my heart and soul but also physically although in a place quite unfamiliar to me now. For the next two years, I am open to double rainbows after heavy rains, the beautiful sounds of the muezzin five times a day calling the city to prayer, the polite chaos of traffic in the blazing heat of the day and bathing the Afghan way with only a basin of water. I will curiously listen to each Afghan I meet tell me their story of fleeing their homes to Iran, Tajikistan or Pakistan during the Taliban rule or marrying their deceased uncle's wife to share in the family responsibility of caring for her and her children. I will struggle diligently to learn their languages, their traditions and customs and attend as many Friday night weddings as possible. I will carry with me an inner strength so that nothing-no protest, no suicide bomber, no threat, nor annoyance, frustration or fear can disturb my peace of mind. Perhaps then, when my strivings cease, I will realize like like Lynn Sherr once said, "My place is everywhere."
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