“How should Spring bring forth a garden on hard stone? Become earth, that you may grow flowers of many colors. For you have been heart-breaking rock. Once, for the sake of experiment, be earth!” -Rumi
Egyptians ‘sniff the spring breeze’ on Shamm el-Nassim, a pharaonic tradition in which Egyptians celebrate the arrival of spring by eating salty fish (fiseeskh), green onions, and boiled eggs. (https://nomad4now.com/articles-egypt/a-store-with-no-door/) . This year, because of coronavirus, Egyptians are in a two-day lock down unable to share the day with friends and family in parks, gardens, and on bridges. Though families and friends cannot gather to share the holiday food, this ancient tradition of gratitude for the passing of time and the appreciation of life continues as it has over millennia.
As I stand in a long queue in London, waiting my turn to enter a grocery store, I look across the street to a nearby park and I am reminded to ‘sniff the spring breeze’, even though the warning to stay home is clearly noted.
As the queue moves forward, messages on stone appear:
I breath deeply in gratitude for the opportunity to know the meaning of Shamm el-Nassim. Thank you, Egypt.