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februari 2013
  • Finding a Piece of my Homeland at the Muttart Conservatory

    Edmonton_Muttart8-MDilsora Fozilova

    Every time I drove by, I wondered what those imposing glass pyramids were shining in the river valley. “Museum” said someone once with a dreadfully monotonous tone. Since then, I stopped wondering about it. I never suspected one day I would find a beautiful oasis in those glass pyramids that connects me to my beloved homeland.

    Even before I entered the temperate place, a rainforest environment with orchids, sub-tropical plants and lush greenery – I smelled the abundant aroma of peach, apple, fig and pomegranate trees mixed with the smell of the moist soil. It was extraordinary… the breeze alone coming from that room could awaken my childhood memories. It was after my tenth birthday and first spring after my dad’s death. One sunny morning in late March, I woke up from the noise of birds in our garden. Without thinking, I got up and walked from my bedroom to the long corridor with my pajamas still on. I pushed the double door that opened to our garden and shielded my eyes with my left arm. It was too bright for my sleepy eyes. The morning light cast a long shadow of my body on the corridor floor. And this aroma…I deeply breathed in the morning air with my eyes closed. It felt incredibly pleasant. I walked into the garden barefooted. The stone sidewalk was warm, the sun had already been beating down upon it for hours before I’d woken up and my feet welcomed the warmth of it. A light wind was tenderly shaking the top branches of the trees. Cherry, apricot, and apple trees were covered with white flowers just like a bride wearing a white wedding dress. There were many different flowerbeds in the middle of the garden. The commanding and wide fruit trees encircled the whole garden. I quietly walked towards the colorful poppy island in the centre of the garden and I laid on the sidewalk. The white petals from the apple and apricot trees were dancing in the air. I felt like my dad’s spirit was also flying in the air with those petals. I closed my eyes and listened to the sound of water from the stream that cut through our garden. I was surrounded by a splendor which words are not enough to describe.

    The temperate environment of the pyramid evoked memories I didn’t realize that were still alive. The view was just like a stolen piece of my homeland. I was born in Bukhara, one of the ancient cities of Uzbekistan. Bukhara has long and hot summers and short but cold winters. The long Albertan winters made me deeply appreciate the climate and natural landscape of my country.

    I often craved the smell of the earth after the morning rain; I craved the sweet aroma of peach, apricot and pomegranate trees in harvesting season. Snowflakes remind me of the flying petals in the air. Many times I locked myself in my bedroom and went through the old pictures from my hometown. Those pictures helped me to find peace in my anxious heart. Perhaps it was just a psychological escape from the melancholy but I didn’t know any other way to deal with my sadness.

    A huge pomegranate tree was growing right beside the entrance of this temperate environment didn’t have any flowers or fruits but still looked like and smelled like the ones we had in our garden. There also was a fig tree that was bigger and had a stronger body than what we had in Bukhara. Perhaps people in my country didn’t allow them to get too big and strong, otherwise it would be too difficult to protect them from the cold. Usually people would cut the young sub-tropical trees when they are still young; about twenty centimeters up from the ground, to make the side branches grow stronger. Fig and pomegranate trees are very vulnerable to cold and we had to cover them with a sizable amount of dirt in winter.

    As I walked further, my eyes caught the blossomed Nargis flowers around the waterfall and I went closer. In my town people believe that Nargis’ brings bad luck. They say Nargis represents the evil-hearted, beautiful princess who causes a lot of grief to men. As Nargis’ have hollow stems, I heard someone saying small poisonous snakes live in the stems of the Nargis’. One of my favorite poets wrote a poem that says “Even if that snake stabs his poisonous teeth, let me press my lips on your petals my unfaithful Nargis”. I always laughed, why every beautiful living thing must epitomize unfaithfulness? There was something surprising in every step in Muttart. I felt very emotional and attached. I wanted to touch every plant, and smell every flower. While I was driving away, I felt the pleasure of curing homesickness. Discovering the living image of my motherland in the middle of Edmonton was one of the most astonishing experiences I’ve had since I moved to Canada.


    Published on februari 2, 2013 · Filed under: Дилсора Фозилова;
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