Maybe it was in their eyes, there was a softness to them– Ahmed sat in the doorway, leaning against the wall where the light could sneak around the corner and hit his pupils in a way that made me want to look at the world as he did. I don’t have that softness, my eyes like brown skipping stones, refracting the incoming light.
Their house was in the Rif Mountains in Morocco, a rough drive and small walk through a neighborhood, happily hidden in the creases of the mountains. Horses and donkeys prodded the ground as children ran alongside the bus, with grins from ear to ear. We had the opportunity to talk to a family there, Hamida and Ahmed, they welcomed us with tentative, open arms. Their two neighbors sidled in after us as we entered into the patio, their beautiful daughters followed too. Those eyes looking, watching, those eyes like maple syrup. Our group of fifteen sat around their Moroccan style couch, which serves as beds at night. Ahmed built the two-roomed house himself– the perfect amount of space for a family of four. We shared couscous and the vegetables we had bought at the local market. Avocados. Tomatoes. Cucumbers. After we ate, we communicated with the family through an interpreter. An exchange of culture, an exchange of life, of schedule, of the present. But not the future.
Somebody asked Hamida and the women what the future held for them. They looked at us confused, their eyebrows knitted like tree branches. She rephrased her question, what worries do you have for the future? They shook their heads. Maybe the softness in their eyes represented their understanding of what lay beneath their fingertips, content with the world touchable at the present ticking of the clock. And maybe the hardness in my eyes is the future knocking at the back of my head, waiting to be heard and petted and patted and fed. How I would like to look at the world with a softness in my eyes, a softness in my thought, a tenderness in my step as the Moroccan people do. To be content with the things surrounding me, to skip the stones and fill my eyes with maple syrup warmed by the sun.
And eat lots of couscous of course.
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<p>My name is Anna Suszynski and I live in Colorado. I will graduate in 2016 from Colorado College having studied to be an English major, Creative Writing Track. I love to read, ski, go to as many concerts as I can, hang out with my mom, hike, take way too many photographs, and get lost. </p>