Oasis

I doubt I will ever get tired of writing about gardens in Kabul, of their ability to be a constant surprise, of their magically embracing silence despite the constant hovering of helicopters and the seemingly endless roadworks.

The cold season is about to come, but roses are still blooming – red, pink, sometimes yellow.

In the house where I am now staying for a few days, laundry is hung in the lawn to dry in the sun giving clothes an ancient scent. In the little cottage where I stayed earlier, I was woken up at night by the falling and bouncing of apples on the roof. At Sarah and Lorenzo’s there is a pergola full of grapes that is hidden behind a big gate and a tall wall.

Yesterday I met a beautiful person. We met in the porch of an old house built at the beginning of last century that miraculously survived bombs, wars and invasions. The decorations and falling plaster give it the appearance of an old, genteel lady; it used to be the house of a patriarch, a politician, perhaps a minister. A qala with small, squat turrets on its sides, a villa that once used to be in the countryside and it is now surrounded by the frenzy of the city.

I look around while I wait for my host. Turtledoves come and go, in front of me there is a pomegranate and a quince tree. My host arrives and offers me strong coffee, he pours it from an old fashioned, slightly chipped white porcelain teapot with pinkish flowers.

And we talk about art, architecture, creativity and the stories that carpets hide and we can’t read anymore. A little oasis of paradise in a dusty afternoon.

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