How can anything grow here?
A knock at the back door, I answer and tried to explain that my daughter was not here. By her motions, I knew the neighbour wanted me to follow her … so I did. We passed through her tiny four room house to the little courtyard in the back and with a great big smile she pointed to the watered ground. There along the white plastered wall a solitary large turnip erupted from the sand. She was ecstatic with it. When my daughter returned a short while later, we were both summoned and then shown the rest of the garden. A few onion greens and leafy parsley poked through the carefully marked off circles. Now I have been privileged to garden in “the bread basket of the world” and would feel underwhelmed with this as my season’s crop. She was delighted. We were invited to coffee.
I recalled the change in the harsh desert climate as I had travelled the sandy road to reach the oasis, and the sudden contrast of a mini palm forest that seemingly emerged out of nowhere, testimony to the incredible power that water makes.
A cup of water or coffee mixed with kind words, are like a gentle rain to the parched soul. My daughter translated for Nahjwet, “You need to learn Arabic, I have so much of my heart I want to share.” Coffee, smiles and a turnip equal a desert oasis for the soul.