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There Is Time Before the Snow Melts
By Negin Motamed
March 2010
به فارسی بخوانيم
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There is time before the snow melts
There is time before our trays are filled with talk of Noruz

I take the wind chime out of my closet. Cleaned, I use a twine and hang it from the staircase railing facing the street. There is no wind, so I give it a jiggle and feel assured that its sound shall please the passers by. It’s pretty. Now I, as I enter and leave my home, as well as others -- the ones who pay attention to their surroundings -- will enjoy its presence. Either way this is the preferred life style for the chime as well, compared to collecting dust in some closet. In fact, for a wind chime, this is living, and the other, death. 

The winter and its frigid mornings are here. I feel better when I see the red, square shaped metallic beads of the chime hanging from the little metallic turtle. How is it that some times tiny little things affect us so positively? Today, a week and a half since the chime’s rebirth, I noticed it missing from the railing. I climb the stairs hurriedly and see the twine as the only thing dancing with the wind. I decide that this does not matter, that anyone who took it must have needed, and is making good use of, a pretty wind chime decorated with red beads and a metallic turtle. After a cup of hot tea I go to the yard and search through the half composted leaves and find a few small branches. Using a few sticks of bamboo, which I had from before, and the branches, I make a rudimentary wind chime. A section of a cherry tree skin unifies and connects all the various parts; it is the center piece that moves with the air and makes the bamboos sing. The two hours of continuous effort has presented me with a feeling of excitement and joy, but It’s getting dark.I go inside and leave the chime and the stairway and the passers by alone. The next morning I see the lone twine hanging in the air, again!

I fail to see how could a hand made, rudimentary wind chime be so needed, or to whom, unless you hate beauty. I am amazed by people whose their appreciation of the beauty of a flower soon equates to cutting it and even if their senses realize the attractiveness of their surroundings, send the wrong message to their brains. Instead of appreciating the beauty of the gifts that are offered them with donning a smile or by simply enjoying it they get the ambiguous urge to stop what they’re doing, reach through the railings with some difficulty, and cut the cord that is offering their city a small thing of beauty. I don’t know what head to picture connected to the hands that bring fore destruction and demise, and know that from now on, the staircase will be as plain as that face.

I fasten my pace not to be late for my chores, and I take my thoughts with me so I can pay closer attention to them on the bus. We are going north on Vali Asr Street as I look, without much energy and in deep thoughts, at the west side of the street I like so much. We pass by the Mellat Park. The winter-clad trees in the background, and closer by, the benches and stone covered walkways with their recessed lighting which had been giving pleasure to pedestrians the nights before make my heart warm again. Now I imagine how the street looks at night with those lights. I look closer, and suddenly my heart skips a beat. The lights could have helped show the way to people, if they hadn’t been broken. Strangely, they all are. Their shattered glass covers and holes that now remain remind us all of a beautiful lighting that is no longer there.

Black clouds block the rays of sun with a dark shadow. Something has made my head heavy and my shoulders are sagging. The winter is here in full force and there is no sign of the spring. Where are the green pastures we hear so much about?

Translated by {Saeed Ganji}