A whole chicken in Muscat comes clean and perfectly trimmed.  The insides have been removed and the feet firmly trussed.  Lovely, accessible, recognizable, orderly, immediately usable.  Muscat has seemed much the same way since our arrival,  but today we are home after the announced Embassy closure through August 10th and that has shifted my thoughts to other homebound pursuits.

My jet lag those first few days woke me up between 4 and 5 am.  The light streaming through our bedroom window was warm and beautiful and the temperature quite pleasant compared to the noon day burn.  A few days in a row I pulled on a flimsy yellow African style dress I bought In Essaouira, my wide brimmed straw hat, and set about pulling weeds in the planters that line the yard.  With my bare hands I scraped through the dirt, pulling out gnarly growths by the roots, removing large rocks and other debris from the beds.  My fingers weaved through the spiny weeds, getting them just around the base to avoid blood.  

Last weekend I bought small tomato and eggplant seedlings to plant around the yard.  Inside I sowed seeds for rosemary, thyme, chives, oregano, savory and basil in empty egg cartons that are resting high on a shelf in the laundry, sweating and germinating in the filtered sunlight.  

What can you do but wait?  Wait for the little seeds to crack open, their insides snaking to the surface and peeking through.  Wait for the tomato plants to grow just a few more inches before planting them in the raised bed I fashioned from discarded bricks stacked up among the weeds.  Wait for the Embassy to reopen and life to continue as normal.  Wait for the narrative to change?  

But then I remember that Max's job is not just about waiting.  I'll cheekily almost avoid a tremendeous cliche by only alluding to a planting metaphor, but we are here because we really believe there is more to be done than just waiting.  


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