This morning it was one of those moments to be truley thankful for being alive. There was a real beauty in the morning, everything was in harmony, bringing the day into awakening.
The sun had been in the sky for already an hour when it finally peaked over the tops of the hills that surround us, bringing it’s warming light into the valley to met the crisp dewy morning air, signalling that it was time for the day to get underway. With my cup of tea and breakfast of pita bread, thick yoghurt, soft feta cheese and za’atar I ventured out to soak in the warming rays and contemplate my lot.
The mountains in the far distance are still wearing their white caps of snow. Just the last remnants remain now and with not a cloud in the sky and the promise of a beautiful spring like day by tomorrow it might all be but gone.
The birds are singing a joyful song. It lifts the spirits and I soak in their song. I’m starting to become familiar with birds that were once strange and alien to me. There is the melodic tuneful song of the Mourning Wheateater as this small black and white bird flits from rock to rock. The trills of the flock of Common Chaffinch that feed on the seeds from the grasses and even the whistles of the sparrows adds to the music.
Photo of the Mourning Wheatear by Mansour Mouasher from website Birds of Jordan
There is the steady, rhythmic chugging of the small red diesel tractor in the near paddock as it was ploughing the heavy clay soil moist with the recent rains. The farmers are hopeful for a good season with the recent rain and snow heralding the tractors to the fields. Every usable piece of land is ploughed and tilled when there is the promise of a good season. Land around us that has not been ploughed for the three years which I have lived here and also not in the recent memory of Atef is being turned and prepared.
The bleating of the goats being let out of their nightly enclosure in the Bedouin camp just across the way. With a spring in their step and a flick of their tails the young goats skip and jump with a playful energy. It’s contagious and brings a smile to my face. The older, wiser goats move forward with purpose towards their shepherd knowing that the promise of a feed of grain awaits.
A friendly greeting from a neighbour who like me is out on his terrace enjoying the morning sun with his cup of tea. Greetings in Arabic are purposeful and full of meaning and to every greeting there is the proper response. Whilst in english a simple greeting of “good morning” given and exchanged in return is sufficient, my greeting and exchange with my neighbour consists of several greetings and correct responses back and forth. There is the blessing of the morning to each other, followed by the further greeting and response of bestowing blessings upon each other then asking after one another’s health and current state and finished with thanking God for the beautiful morning and everything to come.
A tendril of smoke makes it way up into the sky from near the Bedouin tent and if the wind is blowing the right way I might soon be able to catch a whift of the taboon bread being cooked in the coals. Or maybe they are just making a pot of sugary black tea possibly flavoured with a sprig of mint or sage to enjoy after tending to their goats.
Narl the leader of the trashy cats makes his way slinking slowly through the rocks from whatever night adventure he has had to find a place in the sun to spend his morning sleeping and dreaming of the offerings that the surrounding houses will bring later in the day to his bin.
The workmen arrive on building sites around the valley and the metalic banging of hammers begins. A cement mixture starts up with a cough and a splutter and it’s action a plenty as the workmen scurry back and forth from piles of sand and gravel and bags of cement to feed it’s hungry mouth.
The sun is higher in the sky now and I must stop my ramblings and indeed make a start to my day.