Part 2: The Eagle Rebirth
Click for part 1 (so that makes sense)
In Lebanon, most schools belong to the church, nuns or monks, of course as a Christian they send me to a Christian place, there are Muslim schools as well but the biggest institutions, universities, hospitals are ruled by the Catholic and Maronite churches (oh wow how lucky we are!) no wonder people are dying on the hospitals doors and parents are selling their kidneys to grant education to their children!
Good job! Jesus is so proud of you!
Of course being in an internal school made me hate the men of religions more and more, most of nuns have nothing to do with Jesus’s message nor the Charity they preach, nor the poverty. “Poverty, chastity, and obedience”, literally their vows, oh they remind me of the democracy and independence some nations are claiming to have or claiming to spread in the world while stepping over cadavers of millions of people!
One Sunday they took us out for a promenade, I was lost from the group, we were all cultivating and eating apples from the trees and suddenly, they disappeared! (Kfardebian,is well known with apples) suddenly I’m alone, in the big valley all alone! They left me, I felt terrified, I will be eaten by some animal, I will die from cold…suddenly I saw them in the parallel very far away road, leaving, I saw a line of people like ants, they are so far but I started to scream the name of one of the girls “Gizele” I didn’t remember many names at the time, I hated there.
The echo helped, we were surrounded by mountains, and they heard me! They sent someone to get me.
It’s a good fairy tale, happy ending! But the story is not here, the story is that after we’re back, the nun (I even forgot her name) thought that I did a big mistake because I missed the group and I was about to be lost and she slapped me so hard that I still feel her slap in my soul not only my face!
Thank you so much dear for this smack! I wouldn’t be that wise without it, again Jesus is so proud of you!
I was moved the next year to another school near my brothers’ school, after my mother pushed hard to adjust my papers.
The school was in Brummana as well, the place I love so much, and I started to cope with this new life away from home, I have good and bad memories but it all made me who I am.
I always remember the lovely moments I spent there, most of my dreams used to be there, I miss the place sometimes. I miss the disobedient moments that made me happy like running from school to eat Hamburger, hiding the love stories in the shoe closets because they’re not allowed, checking the delicious food the sisters have for lunch or dinner…while we’re eating food full of rice weevils and we’re punished for not finishing it.
I was the rebel despite all this, when I told the nun there are rice weevils in our food, she said it’s well cooked onions (since it’s black) I replied: but onions have no legs sister!
Oh this is the part where I eat my food and I’m also punished. 😀
Jesus is really proud of you sisters!
In our house, there was always an abundance of food, fruits, everything we want, dessert, candies, my parents made sure we have everything we need so we never felt inferior or deprived.
I learned how to be alone and take care of myself, I met good and bad people, some nuns were good, and others were total bitches! I still have friends from school and others were total jerks.
I learned to count on myself, at a very young age, I used to take a bus or a taxi, bring my younger brother and take him home (after my big brother changed the school to another one).
I learned to wipe my tears and face this cruel life with a smile on my face.
I learned to cope without parents even though they were there but away,
I learned to manage without support which I know I would have received if I asked for it but I always believed that this is something I shouldn’t ask for, it should be given without asking,
I learned to defend myself and to be fierce.
It wasn’t magic, nothing is! It was molded through this entire journey, after many tears, many days where I felt sorry for myself, I felt like a bird with no wings, I felt as an orphan, except I wasn’t!
I was waiting for someone to save me but I didn’t know this one was me and only me! I needed to fly! I couldn’t fly…it was so hard to fly while I was stuck behind the bars of sadness, self-pity, misery, weakness!
And then I discovered that all these tough years were necessary to grow very strong wings, they were the sculptor and I was the sculpture, just like the eagle!
The Eagle has the longest life span it can live up to 70 years, but to reach this age the Eagle must make a hard decision. In its 40’s, its long and flexible talons can no longer grab prey, which serves as food. Their long and sharp beaks become bent. The eagle is old aged and heavy wings, due to their thick feathers become stuck to its chest and make it difficult to fly. Then the Eagle is left with only two decisions: to die or to go through a painful process of change for 150 days.
So, the Eagle flies to a mountain top. There the Eagle knocks its beak against a mountain top until it plucks it out. After plucking it out the Eagle will wait for a new beak to grow back and it will then pluck out its talons. When its new talons grow back, the Eagle starts plucking out its old-aged feathers. After 5 months the Eagle takes its famous flight of rebirth and lives for 30 more years.
Sometimes a major change is needed in order to survive; to get rid of old memories, habits and other past traditions and be free from past burdens. I didn’t know that all these years were a painful process to have strong wings and a brand new beak!
I spread my wings and I flied!
I flied solo and I flied very high, very high where I no longer see the pain, the misery, the self-pity, very high from judgment, blaming, nagging…very high!
Therefore, I was never envious, I always fought it, I was never jealous, I always fought it, I entered luxurious houses, villas, I never looked what people have, I was in the most luxurious cars, the time I was struggling with my heavy bags in public transportation, and I never cared, or even recalled the car brand.
I met people that were born with a golden spoon in their mouths, but some of them were unsatisfied, depressed, nagging the entire time, I even was their wailing wall for a long time! The time I was hardly standing for myself, the time I had no one to wipe my tears. I never cared and always was helpful and supportive.
I gave because I know what it exactly feels to have nothing, I was there for many people the same way I wished that someone will be for me, but at the end this someone was me!
I was taught to be fanatic and to hate other religions and here I am, my best friends are Muslims, we fasted together in Ramadan and we tapped eggs in Easter, we decorated the Christmas tree together and then replaced the Christmas bubbles with Fanoos Ramadan.
I have good friends from all religions even the one that was directly responsible for our displacement, for losing everything we ever had, for slaying the people that couldn’t run away.
I entered their houses, slept under their roof, ate at the same table. I never said this should be my house, or this house was built over our blood, even if until this moment we didn’t get to live in the house we left years ago, even if, they couldn’t teach me to hate.
This is why I’m so proud of myself, I’m not judging the others, I’m just giving credits to myself, I’m proud I never hurt anyone purposely, I’m proud I was never attached to material things and stuff, I’m proud I’m able to take care of other people, to feel their pain and help instead of being angry at the world! I’m proud to be financially independent since I was almost 16 years old. I’m proud I never had to take any medication, any therapy; I just faced all and accepted all.
I’m proud that this lonely bird with no wings has turned to be a very powerful and beautiful eagle! I’m so proud!
You might think that this post is about me, but it’s not! It’s for each one willing to read, I believe that each word, each journey can inspire and help, can teach and might even change someone’s life!
Remember, it’s not the end until you decide it is!
Remember, no matter how tough it can get, it’s all inside you and it’s all in your hands and only in your hands!
Your thoughts are welcome of course. Appreciate your time dear readers 🙂
Huguette Antoun – April 10th 2019