January 31, 2008

Smoke on the Horizon

I have looked out many windows. I have stood a top many mountains. I have heard the call of many birds. Today I looked out a window, and beheld something I will never forget.

In the land between two rivers in the dessert, a great oasis of life and fertility has existed since this land was young. These places have had many names, especially the city I am in today. ‘Baghdad’ is a Persian word. My friend tells me it means either the jungle or the garden that ‘is given’. If it is in fact "the garden that is given" (implicitly by God) you could make a reasonable argument that to a Persian, Baghdad means ‘Garden of Eden’.

It makes sense when you think about it. This whole area is the lush garden or jungle between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Such a large oasis in the relatively arid land of the Arabian peninsula would surely have been thought of as a gift from God.

I had this conversation with my friend atop a tower in Baghdad. My Iraqi friend was sad in his quiet accepted way. He told me of the ancient world, and the shame of war that has come to it. We talked about the state of this great planet, given by God unto man. God's creation, this beautiful and mystical land is God's greatest revelation to us. And so I come to my sorrow today.

I have looked out many windows. I have stood a top many mountains. Today I heard the distant call of a raven and when I looked out my window I saw smoke... smoke rising from the Trees of Eden.

Shine Forth the Light

1 comment:

Cryptic Muse said...

Your conclusion is beautifully melancholic. Although, I must confess, it causes me to despair for the fate of that nation.