She rings the door bell before using her key. ‘Good morning Ma’am’
I hear the bright smile in her voice and get up from my desk. ‘Good morning Lita’ I smile back ‘how are you?’ and then, feeling a little anxious ‘how are the girls?’
‘Oh, they are fine, they are ok, – what can I do?’ Circling her face with her hand she throws her eyes skyward and sigh; ‘look at my eyes. I’m not sleeping. Every night I’m on line with them and some times it takes long time to get through.’ What is wrong with this world? – why can’t they go somewhere else if they have to fight, why do they have to fight where our children lives? What can I do?’ I stay quiet for a moment, as my heart breaks open a crack. ‘Do you meditate?’ Our eyes soften as we look at each other. ‘I used to’ she starts ‘- I do and pray God just put a shield around my family and keep them safe.’
Lita’s 2 daughters, mother, sisters and brothers are in Marawi, Philippines where government troops are now fighting back ISIS terrorists with soldiers on the ground and attack aircraft in the sky. All the while people are on the move, fleeing from the war.
Her daughters where born in Egypt but she sent them home with her mother around the time of the 2011 revolution, so they would be safe. Lita is a house keeper and childcarer for a family with 2 gorgeous little kids. She calls to ours two mornings a week and whenever Shane and I go out of an evening, she comes to stay with Ruby.
She knows her worth and sets her own prices, non negotiable and a fear bit higher than . . . let’s say . . . Egyptian house keepers. She is our third helper – I like to give them a trial period before committing to anything long term and I’m glad I do. The first two ladies drove me demented one way or another, Lita is a pleasure.
‘People ask why I’m smiling’ she tells me ‘but what can I do, – better to smile than fall apart. I need to work, I need to look after myself.’ We speak the same language of self-care, we get it. ‘I can’t take care of them if I not take care of me’ she smiles in the face of austerity. Lita earns good money in Egypt, which she send home to pay for her daughters college education and for her family to live. Thinking how utterly scared I’d be if Ruby was in a war zone far away form me and I couldn’t get her out or myself in, my heart breaks for Lita, still she take to her work with gusto and I go back to the page.
Deep imprints of our conversation spill out. First in awe of Lita who choose to smile and trust in love and god, then I rage and then comes the big question; ‘What is it about men that makes them think it’s ok to fight a war where our children are living?’ Always, always a war somewhere. What is it about all these terrorist groups? IRA, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Taliban, Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam, Hezbollah, Ku Klux Klan, Hamas, Nazist , The Phineas Priesthood, Jewish Defense League, Earth Liberation Front (“The Elves”), Army of God, The Crips, Revolutionary Struggle, The Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front, Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, The Kurdistan Workers’ Party . . . I mean – the list goes on and on and on . . .
What is WRONG with this world?
What is stopping us from living in peace? There are only two emotions – Love and Fear – a wise woman told me. Terror is pure and utter fear to me, how can I grow a love so big that it will repel this fear, the wars the terror?
The terrorist attacks this year alone makes a list longer than I can possibly mentioned; Aleppo, Istanbul, Herat, Nice, Burundi, Berlin, Baghdad, Mogadishu, al-Obeidi, Jableh, Abyan, Germany, Kabul, Peshawar, Parachinar, Paris, Kandahar, Normandy, Mogadishu, Sinai, Mosul, Kirkuk, Lahore, Nangarhar, Mogadishu, Kaduna, Westminster, Charsadda, Homs, Brussels, Tikrit, Damascus, Tshikapa, Parachinar, Tikrit, Stockholm, Queanbeyan, Oslo, Tanta, Alexandria, Aleppo (yes, what’s happening in Aleppo is so awe full I’m mentioning it twice), Balkh Province, Hasakah, Slavne, Pattani, Rome, Brak El-Shati Bangkok, Manchester, Minya . . . Just look at this map. The world I’ve been living in is pretty well covered. Thank god for the pretty ‘blast zone’ colours is all I say. . . .
I keep myself shielded form news, most of the time, but when it walks through my door and effects me like this, it’s time to wake up and take stock of what I think and feel about all this.
What are your thoughts and feelings about terrorism and war?
There are scumbags and there are theorists everywhere. In the Cairo Thugs attacking my car vlog I said; We must stay vigilant. Keep our cool. Keep our mobiles close. Keep our emergency contacts on speed dial and a watchful eye out.
Today I want to add – keep love in your heart and fate in any higher-self or power you may feel connected to and believe with every ounce of goodness in your heart that THAT will keep our loved ones safe and ourselves strong in the face of fear and violence.
Like the street dogs of Cairo, the pack of thugs will retreat. They are intimidating, they can be scary, but they will back down when we stand our ground and growl back.
I believe it’s time women, once again, raise the torch for the greater good. It’s time to stand up and growl back at violence, war and terror. How we are going to do this, I do not know. I don’t see the whole road, but I’m walking anyway.
If you have any thoughts on how we can achieve peace, maybe even if it’s only for ONE day, or a week, every year, at the same time, all over the world, you know what to do in the comments below.
Maybe if we find a way to speak – with our universal mother voice of honest love – to our men, our brothers, our sons and husbands, maybe that would be a place to start?
Pray God put a shield around Lita’s family and keep them safe. Salla may love win over war, fear and terror.
Love & Light
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