Continuing with the festive character of the previous entry, we will take advantage of the coincidence that both Catholic and Orthodox Easter are celebrated on the same date this year, and make a small reference to Palm Sunday.
This celebration is so much linked in the Christian conscience with two non-human elements, both so characteristic of life along the Nile: the palm tree and the donkey!
The palm tree which is cultivated for its tasty and energy-giving dates
Along of course other trees – like the Acacias – shrubs – like the Halfa Grass – and food plants – like the Full Masri
In shady forests of unqiue tranquility
Forming landscapes of immense beauty
And then as if the religious symbolism and function transgress boundaries of ethnicities and religions, the plant that is traditionally accredited with the honor of welcoming Jesus to Jerusalem accompanies the Muslim dead in their abode after their terrestrial life, when their memory is confined to a beautifully carved gravestone
In the shadows of these palm trees a little donkey can find rest
The animal that is granted the privilege of carrying Jesus on his entry to Jerusalem, is omnipresent in Sudan as carrier, worker, friend
And always poses in the shadow of the other gifts of the Nile, like the Acacias or the Ushars (Calotropis Procera – thanks M.F. for the tip ! )…
May we all have steady walking and patience like the donkeys; may we be fertile and gracious like the palms!