Friday, January 11, 2008

snowing in baghdad

It snowed today in Baghdad. It was not an impressive snow – it melted as it hit the ground but in my imagination it covered the war-torn city in a blanket of white making it, for a short time, clean and reflecting the sun’s light and illuminating the evening with something other than mortar fire. Do you remember snowy nights? (if you’re not from California). It would be so white and quiet which is probably where the idea for Silent Night came from. The only sound you would hear would be your own boots crunch-crunching through the snow. And the light. I would walk along the middle of the road in Vancouver at some late hour and feel illuminated and alive beyond description. I want this for Baghdad.
Until today they'd seen snow only in movies unless they had traveled. "I rushed quickly to the balcony to see a very beautiful scene," said a 19 year old college student, "I tried to film it with my cell phone camera. This scene has really brought me joy. I called my other friends and the morning turned to be a very happy one in my life."
Doesn’t that make you want to cry? We can find joy in the darkest times.
An Iraqi who works for The Associated Press said he woke his wife and children shortly after 7 a.m. to "have a look at this strange thing." He then called his brother and sister and found them awake, also watching the "cotton-like snow drops covering the trees."
I want Baghdad to gaze out at the cotton drops and stick their tongues out to catch them and then look across the sea and marvel that a black man with the middle name Hussein is a likely candidate for president of the country that has caused them such cruelty.
I want them to make snow angels over the spots where their loved ones fell.

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