Friday, September 01, 2006

Feeling The Place.

To what extent do we belong to a place?
Honestly… you won’t know until you experience it.
Two years ago, a dear Saudi friend came to Lebanon for work for the first time after about 25 years. In his childhood and teenage years he used to come to Bhamdoun with his family for summer vacations.
So, once we decided to have a ride over the mountains and have lunch somewhere nice. I drove to Alley and Bhamdoun. He started remembering the area and believe it or not, he directed me through the small old streets of the village that I had never been there before.
To my surprise, on our way he told me that in a few seconds and on my right I will see a steep small path and at the top end there is an old house that used to belong to his family.
He kept saying “ya Allah, you can’t imagine the feelings you brought into me driving me here, you took me back so many years, back to my childhood. We used to go up and down that steep path so many times a day and never got tired, I think I can’t take more than a few steps up the path now. I am so happy. Thank you”.
And he was happy and appreciative.
I was so grateful for making my dear friend so happy, but honestly I couldn’t fully understand him . I wasn’t able to value such a feeling, such a moment.

However, and out of no where, I lived the same experience, almost the same, with my father last week.
He decided to take me out for a change of mood after the war. We went up the mountain for a routine drive. The weather was a bit better than on the coast with less humidity.
While enjoying the magnificent scenery, dad decided to turn left to a side road and he drove all the way to Hammana and Falougha. It had been long since I last went there.
A sense of expectation overfilled me. Is everything still in place there? The restaurants, hotel, café’s, hair dressers etc., are they still open? Same management? The houses? The people? I couldn’t wait to get there.
We finally arrived. I saw the house we rented for one month only, ten years ago. I also saw the house our friends rented.
What a feeling. I cant say that all I felt was happiness, excitement, or missing the place. I don’t know what it was. Although we stayed there for such a short period, but somehow I felt the place. It was part of my childhood. Yes, one month is part of my childhood. Some might say that one month is so short to be significant. I say that everyday, every hour and moment is an important part of our life.
The place was still the same. However, I am now 10 years older, 3650 days, countless moments and events. Countless lessons.
Since I have driven away from the main subject, let me go back and try to finish my point.
What I wanted to say is that because I have experienced the feeling of ‘a place from my childhood’ I know that I fully understand my friend and his feelings.
After all, childhood might be the best period of our lives, and it sure shapes our adulthood.

N.B. Bhamdoun, Hammana, & Falougha are 3 famouse villages in mount Lebanon


still breathing said...

its amazing how places carve their ways in our hearts during childhood...i live in Egypt but i was born in KSA and all my childhood memories belong there...i wish i could go back and live that feeling u r mentioning!

P.S thx for visiting my blog :)

SunFlower said...

Still breathing: i liked your blog, and thanks for visiting and commenting.

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