I still remember the winters of my childhood. We spent every winter vacation in Jalalabad, one of the warmest provinces of east Afghanistan. In early mornings, the sky was blue, the sun shining and oranges glowed among green leaves. A smooth wind would blow over the narcissus flowers, spreading the scent of the flowers and of orange trees all over our house. Once the scent washed over me, I couldn’t stay in bed any longer. Then I would notice the sound of someone making nan (bread) in the tandoor (a special oven for baking nan). The smell of fresh nan took me to Paradise. I will never forget those sunny mornings of Jalalabad’s winter.
I loved Spring too, as a child, and the cloudy skies of Kabul, the heavy rain of April, the perfume of the blossoms and grass. Spring was the season of beginnings and of change. It meant the start of the school year, new classes, new classmates and probably new friends. I always enjoyed the long, fresh rainy days of Spring. When I was a kid, Spring in Afghanistan meant everything was green and fresh, roads were paved, and weather was not dusty. I would look from my bedroom window to the white and light pink blossoms in the big yard of the Kabul Polytechnic Institute which stood in front of our house. I could see the trees wave in the breeze, and smell the perfumes of the rose flowers. I always counted days and nights until I could see Spring, especially the first day of the school.
Since I grew up in a very happy and joyful family, I never used to hate anything or anyone. Then, on a beautiful summer day in 1979, my father, two brothers and two uncles were captured by the Communist government of Afghanistan and jailed, simply because my father was a famous Afghan. I will never forget that dark day of my life. It changed our family’s future. Since then, one part of my heart still waits to welcome Spring, but another part is reluctant and averse to accepting Spring’s arrival.
I still love early mornings of Jalalabad’s winter. I like Spring, but I can’t say anymore that I love that season.