Of Snow at ‘Home’

Of Snow at ‘Home’

Today, my helper and I woke up to a lily-white blanket of snow. I knew yesterday through the weather man that it was going to snow but I did not know it would snow this much. Soft, egg-shell like snow covers all the plains, hills and mountains around my house. My helper, who never left the low Atlas Mountains, is happy, very happy to see the snow. She jumps and laughs and sings out of joy at the sight of the white stuff that feels soft and moist and fragile when she treads on it. This is not unusual for this time of the year, for it does snow quite often in the low Mountains in the months of December and January. But this year the weather has been dry, with hardly any rain at all. So this snow fall is most welcome and is even celebrated in certain hamlets. People who have ploughed their land are always praying for rain or any kind of moisture, including frost. I too have ploughed my land for the first time since my childhood. I have sowed barley and wheat. I expect to have a good crop. May Allah smile at me!
Sitting by the fire place enjoying a hot tisane made with local rosemary honey and bergamot water blossom and feasting on a baklawa from the Cap Bon, I watch the snowflakes fall through one of the French doors in the living room. I feel a sense of joy at the magical sight, for here I am at ‘home’ being part and parcel of the terroir as well as the season. I had not lived this moment since the year I migrated to the West. And that was a long time ago. I was a little boy then. I am an old man now. To be chez-soi after so long of an absence is a victory no matter how small it is.
I reflect on my life as I look back while the smoldering fire keeps me warm. I see that at times the flames fight one another as if each one wants to die first so that I may feel cosy in my little corner. Together, they create un bain de fraîcheur. The comings and goings-on of life have removed me from what I was accustomed to: people, climate, food, humor, fauna, flora. I have become a stranger in my own yard.
My helper calls my name. I reply. She tells me that one of my three dogs, Honey, wants a drink of milk. I abide.
The snow is piling now. I am delighted. After all, I live with the seasons now: winter, spring, summer, autumn. They follow one another without rime nor reason.