Friday mornings, carpet-washing

Best thing of this week

Spring is slowly peeking its way back into Kabul. I don’t know where it comes from. It was snowing a week ago. Then the weather peaked, without force, its amazing – I see birds fluttering, one chasing the other, and the other chasing the smell of life somewhere else. The bustle of life is getting to me. Last week I started washing our carpets. Shoaib returns from the mosque and sees me squatted down in the bathroom, using his shoe cleaner as a scrub. And the carpet smells of Nivea soap and Fructis hair conditioner! Then I make him hold it up to wash the soap down. It gets really heavy and I urge him on “Take it as an exercise. Make sport!!” He entertains the thought until it gets too heavy. I beam in delight. The shower tub is not awashed with dirt-water. I have merely made a clean carpet cleaner!

Last Friday the Sabris took a trip over a mountain into the countryside. It is endless flatland, dotted with mud-houses, and the further you wander in, there are barricades of mud-walls, and a small ruin that once belonged to the Mujadidi family. I love this place. The lower mountains surfaces are charred with glimpses of white marble. Some cracks still hold the pristine snow-fall, like solid rivers finding its way downwards before disappearing into natural slits. Then the higher mountains…they are the foreboding gates that so much represent this country’s apt contradictions. The terror, the grace, the pride, the descent…

C and I took long walks round and round the perimeters of Sabri-land. It felt so good to breathe clean air, to feel the mix of sun and cool breeze. We ended the day sitting cross-legged on the soil, breaking fresh hard-boiled eggs with our elbows, streaming through good conversations of how we all met, of where we want to be…a question mark looms ahead, like mountains, so much richness, so much to guess, so much to desire, so terrifying to ponder.

Am I excited? Yes, sometimes I am. A lot of the times I am scared. But there is a feeling one gets…after laying out a dry carpet, combing its frills outwards, touching with pride and smelling the faded fragrance….it is one of many carpets I’ll have to scrub on a Friday morning. I smile as I think of it. This is my home. Its a little one in a very large heart. I’ll happily scrubs those carpets. They are pieces of my home.



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