And Yet, Summer is still a few weeks away
It is taking me forever to get there, but I must admit that I am enjoying the sights.
Every scene I pass by in my car virtually unfolds as a story upon itself.
A light story.
A summer story. And yet, summer is still a few weeks away.
I am wearing my old pair of jeans. And yet, in my mind, my flowery dress is flirting with the accidental breeze.
My hair is an exclamation mark upon itself.
Long and befitting of women pretending to be heroines.
In my mind, this morning, a lot of things are happening.
And the picturesque scenery strutting and swaying in front of me is telling me stories.
Heaven knows how I love those.
They are always a good idea, aren't they?
This morning, the stories are hidden between the beauties of the village houses.
Some of them are hiding amidst nature's wild tune. A Slowly mounting and rhythmic tune. Not finely trimmed.
And yet, as beautiful as fleshy legs proudly astride a hairy body.
Stories are an act of love.
Even the ones that hold no happy endings.
Especially those that unfold dramatically.
This morning I am living a story. At the same time I am a witness of unseen stories that take the shape of red – tile houses, old shops, and this endless nature overlooking tiny roads.
In my mind, I am the heroine of this morning.
I am living a story that is made of picturesque scenes.
I drive slowly towards the mountains of Batroun, the coastal city located in northern Lebanon.
I take the long road, starting from the district of Koura, my hometown.
Every once in a while I stop the car and I take a few pictures.
One day, all that will be left of all of this are pictures.
Faded pictures. Faded memories colored with a small smile.
This morning, however, there is no shadow of memories.
I am simply living a story. I am also the witness of abducted stories.
Abducted by my mind.
This morning, I am the heroine of this story.
Therefore, I act accordingly.
The expression on my face is rather noble.
The flowery dress I am wearing in my mind is rather long.
A knowing smile is decorating my face.
The road is long, and the streets are so narrow.
I drive along.
I must get there.
To Beit Douma. (Beit in Arabic means home and Douma is a village as picturesque as untainted dreams).
Beit Douma is a bed in and breakfast space settled in a restored 19th century Mountain home.
Now there is a story.
A space haunted by memories, yet busy creating new ones.
The music I have chosen for my ride fits perfectly for this morning story.
I am afraid of the ordinary, you see.
And so, I create stories from everyday banalities.
I spend my days pretending I am writing a life.
I take my story over to the light.
I hold its beautifully crafted words and we slowly move as I write along.
You see, I have discovered the outside world by total coincidence.
Ever since, I have been busy trying to understand.
One day I shall quietly tell God that I have lived a life fit for a heroine. And yet, I never understood.
I never understood the meaning of all of this. And yet I shall thank him for this walk.
I shall Pay my bills on time.
I shall experience the highs and lows.
I shall pretend to believe.
"But you see, I didn't understand".
The road is long, and empty except for a few cars, on their way to remote villages.
The sun is blazing, and summer is still a few weeks away.
In my mind I am wearing a white hat.
It is rather big.
I slowly lift my head up and I look up from beneath its "fringes".
I do not see the villages I am crossing.
Rather, I see a life I have treated like a piece of art.
I dive inside the water of the infinite pool and I wash away the effects of a life passionately lived.
An exhausting and yet fulfilling life.
In my mind, I have moved away.
I have reached there, where days are lighter and I can breathe serenely without choking on memories. There where my breath doesn't collide with unwanted faces that still haunt my peace.
Douma has a different aroma.
That is my impression of it as I finally arrive to this village happily lying at an altitude of over 1000 meters.
And Beit Douma is simply a fairy tale.
Each stone ornamenting it abolishes the ordinary.
The surrounding olive groves and apple orchards are a gift especially tailored for the heroine I am pretending to be this morning.
Each room is a "mine". Threatening to explode.
A mine made of sighs and whispers.
A mine that takes pleasure in stories unfolding between its walls. It also takes pleasure in turning flames into scenes of ordinary lives.
Summer stories are rarely forgotten.
And yet, summer is still a few weeks away.
I shall never forget this morning story.
Nor this house that allows us, ordinary people, to experience a glimpse of heaven.
A glimpse of might have been.
In the form of the classical Lebanese village experience.
Summer stories always find a way to purify our overloaded days.
Even when they end.
Especially when they end.
And yet summer has not started yet.
But somehow, I can feel the shadow of a summer story slowly and knowingly "carving" its way into my life.
I sip the freshly made lemonade and I take more pictures.