I hadnt realised how easy it is to see war through eyes that see only weapons and destruction, my eyes these past 3 months if I am honest. Today my minds eye was stretched beyond this to the everyday lives of the people, men,women and children, not unlike myself.
Ordinary people sending their children to school, cooking, doing their best to live life as normally as possible when their country has been invaded, as I cannot remember the Iraqi people asking for American nor British assistance or intervention
Joe being the chef in the family cooked tonight, Roast lamb, dressed with garlic and rosemary, new and roast potatoes, broccoli and the most delicious gravy I have ever tasted, beating his mothers by a mile. I was asking Patrick what types of meat he had eaten during his tour and he mentioned trying goat, then went on to speak about the meals he often shared with the people of Iraq.
He told me that when he was on border patrol, during stopovers in the villages, the troops would be invited to share a meal, offered by the families. All sat round on the floor eating chicken, rice etc from a big bowl placed in the centre. Hospitality that I find so moving.
I have visions of a woman, with a heart not so different to my own, preparing the food that my son enjoyed, an act of friendship, communion that overcomes all language barriers, I also feel very humbled and so grateful.
He spoke again of playing football with the children of the villages and I smiled, warmed by the image. He spoke of the waiter who served him on camp, A pharmacutical gratuate from India, working as a waiter in the british camp, serving the troops so politely, why? So he can afford to put his two sons through university, it certainly put my struggle to support my children through university into perspective.
The young Iraqi marine in his training group, who had moved his wife and family from Baghdad to Basra, where she now taught. It all seems so normal and everyday, yet my heart knows their normal and everyday is a million miles apart from mine as I sit and write this.
It is a sobering thought, after all the only danger I will face as I go to work tommorrow is the hot head in a BMW who is too impatient to be a considerate driver, such is his urgency to get to work that nano second sooner, I think I will just smile as he eventually sails past......( no sexism, carism intended )
These unknown, unmet people so far away are in my heart and thoughts tonight, cradled with gratitude and a wish for peace. The spirit of their hospitality sat at my table as I listened to my son speak of them in a different time, different place over another meal.
Labels: Iraq, mother, peace, troops