Close your eyes, dive
into that fertile darkness
behind your eyelids,
escape from the confusions,
of hurried people in the Friday Market,
beyond the rubble of broken walls,
the hum of drones and traffic.
Look at the sparkling stars
in that dark night within your eyes.
The sky holds them bright and high.
As you lie in the green grass
of al-Jundi al-Majhool,
listen to the whispers of spring,
the birds that whistle and sing,
the joy that nature, to the soul, brings,
the flower’s scent and the butterfly’s
tiny feet upon your neck.
Let the air take its way
straight from your nose
through your larynx and into your lungs.
As your lungs expand, feel
the light rhythm of your heart.
Hold that breath until your mind
holds nothing else and you exhale
into the moment, mindful, present.
Go further, recalling your days alone,
imagining even the days
in your mother's womb,
how loved you were merely
for being who you were
and whoever you would become.
You feel the joy and energy
of your mother, there even before
she welcomed you into the sunlight.
You imagine her counting the days,
impatient with hope to meet you,
anxious to care for you through sickness
and celebrate your achievements.
When you force your breath out again,
your heart slows, and a calm takes you.
This is, my friend, the mindfulness,
the place where you have always been,
as if warm and quiet again in a womb,
where troubling questions fade
and fear sleeps, at rest, even here
in the clenched heart of Gaza.