Layers of pride

July 26, 2019

 

 

... I love spotting the vendors on the sides of the winding roads. Set up under a makeshift tent or the shade of a tree, sometimes in the back of a car or truck, the crops are a natural extension of the surrounding scenery. They blossomed in the heart of that sun-kissed land by the Mediterranean, and thrived on its rich soil and water.
One could tell the season from the displays. I could count on my favorites to be there: Loquats and green almonds in spring, cherries and peaches in summer, grapes and figs in the fall, citrus and chestnuts in winter.

It was too tempting not to visit. We stopped for the alluring crops, but also for the stories, the smiles and the looks of gratitude, for the "Ya hala", "tfaddalo", "Allah maakon", and "bel hana." He had been up before the sun, the old man said, gathered the crop from his field that same morning. "It has been a good season, elhamdellah. Just the right dose of sun and rain." He offered two handfuls of fruits for us to taste.

The crates were filled beyond the rim, with alternating layers of fruits and pride, which abunded too. And why wouldn't it? These beauties were the product of his hard labor afterall, and that of the land his family owned and cared for for many generations... Pride was his middle name. And he had earned every right to it.



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