One month ago today I was in Isdoud with my parents. I was listening to my father tell me who owned all of the orchards and which classrooms in his school were for what grade, and watching my mother pick what seemed like bushels of khobayza and shomer just so she could make us a meal from Isdoud when we got back to the house that night. I was worried initially, when I got back to DC and threw myself into work and deadlines, that if I waited too long to write, I would lose the crispness of the images and the intensity of the emotion. Last night, I watched the video footage – and very quickly realized, that I could wait another decade to write and I will still not have lost the feeling of warmth of the sun that day or the sound of my father’s voice as he told stories or the memory of my mother’s insistence on me taking a picture of her with the khobayza to send to my Aunt.
I don’t have some beautifully planned, long narrative to share.
I just have a day in Isdoud with my parents and a glimpse of what was and what could have been.
I have a green so bright that it shocked me, but not as much as the dry eyes and even tone of my father.
I have what so many other Palestinians have never gotten, even for a minute –
a chance to take their father back to his childhood;
to show their mother the one that was stolen from her;
or to feel the earth of their land under their feet.