Friday, March 23, 2012

Signs of spring: blossoms, African skirts, and joy

"You are good girl today!" My Somali friend beams and gushes as she gives me this very high compliment. I smile and hug her... she only says this when she is pleased with my "African look." Hannah braided my hair into cornrows, I'm barefoot, and my skirt is a flourish of bright colors and patterns. So despite my blue-green eyes, pale skin, and blonde braids, I'm about as African as I can get.

Me, looking as African as possible with my daffodils.
Hannah, being slightly more African than me
because of dark hair and actual experience in Africa.

Spring has sprung all over I-House this week, an unusually early start to the 70+ degree weather. The mass of tiny crocuses have come and gone, and have been replaced by daffodils and cherry blossoms. There's this pink-pink bush right outside my bedroom window that is just glorious, too. A week of sunshine has been very good for my winter-weary soul. Tuesday was officially the first day of spring, and also the Persian New Year, so all the women came to Women's Club in their most vibrant colors - pinks, greens, blues, and purples - looking like Arabian and African princesses, kissing and smiling and greeting each other: "Sal Mubarak!" So much joy, beauty, and peace blooming... an answer to our prayers. May this joy and peace continue to grow and flourish throughout the spring!

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