Four thousand miles away from home and here we are dreaming of all the irreplaceable sensations we once took for granted. From the sizzling oil on freshly baked pastries to the piercing smell of the wild mint in our cups of tea, every ounce of our body aches to once again be in the mere sight of such precious commodities.
That first wave of the summer straw-smelling breeze that hits so hard upon your arrival, that vibrant highway stacked with palm trees and red flags gushing with the wind — or better, that euphonious sound of the midday call to prayers, all of which make up a fraction of what home feels like … or at least the waning memories we have of it.
An ocean away and a pandemic later, here we are feeling too foreign for home and too foreign for here. Growing older and impatient by the minute and hoping that, after refreshing the news page more times than we can count, there it would be — a sight for sore eyes — the words every homesick Moroccan has been dreaming of for the past agonizing five months. But just like your third banana bread that still won’t rise properly, you find yourself back in square one: an ocean away and forever craving the forbidden Kingdom.
Alone yet with thousands of other misplaced souls, you find yourself trying to plant the last seeds of home in soil too foreign to ever allow you to witness the prosperity of your roots. And as much as we push ourselves to move past such a “phase,” this void keeps relentlessly growing in every beating vessel in our bodies, anchoring our endmost standing strand of hope.
But amidst the chaos, we seem to find some sort of order in our proper confusion of belonging. Whether it’s the distance making us grow fonder of the new norms, the solitude strengthening our exercise of freedom or the time we have to find solace in our new religions, somewhere between these three, newly discovered lands we comfortably swim in our own chaotic identities.
Undoubtedly, this is and forever will be an unmatched feeling that would finally put sense to the long-lost words of yet another foreign soul: we live in a square society, but our worlds are going in circles. And just when we thought we started living in lieu of existing, there it was — that one sensation that lured us back to the ever-enticing urge to set foot on the forbidden, foreign land.
words_dina toum-benchekroun design_avani choudhary