Sunday, April 20, 2008

Palm Sunday in Chicago and Atlanta

I spoke with my father today just after mass at the Arabic church. On the Orthodox calendar, today was Palm Sunday. I could hear the happiness in my father's voice, it was clear he had been enjoying the day.

He spoke about the beautiful weather in Chicago, and how nice the service had been. Little girls wore their pretty Easter dresses and carried flowers. Palm leaves are carried by parishioners in a procession around the church's yard, symbolizing Jesus' entry into Jerusalem the week before he was executed and rose from the dead.

My father makes crosses out of the palm leaves that are always in heavy demand by fellow church-goers. It made me wish I was there to help twist them into shape quickly. It makes me long for my family, for Chicago. For a church that I haven't been to in over a decade but can remember its smell of frankincense, the taste of pita bread at communion, and can easily hum the Easter songs sung in Aramaic. I'm grateful to go home next week.

In the meantime, I spend my Palm Sunday at my home in Atlanta by going to one of my very favorite places, the Forest Park Farmer's Market. There I spend just $5 and acquire no less than 10 tomatoes, 6 cucumbers, 5 lemons, 2 yellow bell peppers, and 6 bananas. I head over to take a walk through the plant and flower section.

I wander in zigzags enjoying the afternoon breeze and blue sky, touching petals, tasting herbs, smelling blossoms. I look up and find myself surrounded by baby palm trees. The air is smells green. I buy a beautiful bougainvillea to hang on my doorstep. I listen to Celluloid Heroes on repeat on the drive home. Everybody's a dreamer, everybody's a star.

1 comment:

Reem Tara said...

I cannot effing wait to see you on Friday. This week cannot pass quickly enough. xxoo