YouthActionNet® Retreat Washington D.C, USA
I looked out of the window on the still trees with beautiful glints of yellow, red and orange proudly standing in the dawn of autumn, greeting the new weather and new comers with waves of joy and murmurs.
I wasn’t tired, or if I was I didn’t feel it. The steep road that led to somewhere I never knew was to stop at my last destination, a small inn in the center of elegant city of Washington D.C, after a long journey from Pakistan.
The cab was moving with a slight pace, right enough to let me follow through the sculptures of new earth or as my mother puts it, a world after the seven seas.
Things had happened very quickly as I recall them, My selection among the 20 young leaders of the world to be awarded was more then a dream to me. I remember my cheering out in happiness, my celebrations and my pride. But I do remember among all my parents…… my mother……
I remember how afraid she was to let me go, I had felt it even at the time she said, “oh of course I know my girl is the bravest person on earth”, her voice had shook at the last words…….the lines on her forehead told me the story of their sacrifices, it repeated the truth of all the risks my parents have taken to let me be the one that no other girl of my whole family couldn’t be…………..this is my brave mother.
Dad was quite amazing with the way he acted, though he left to Balochistan two days before my departure, but leaving with his bag clutched in his determined hands and his busy mind and sober face, he had looked at me in the eyes one last time reminding me again with out having to speak a word, of the honor he had given me………he reminded me of the time he would take me in his lap as a little girl and would tell me how successful a person I have to become. The times I held his finger and he would look down at me with the smile that told me , “I m always there for you my child”…….he is the dignity of my soul, the cause of my success, the truth of my freedom…….he is my brave father.
My eyes filled with water at the thought of all this as the cab was now moving down calm streets, with not much of people walking by as it was 7 in the morning. I set up straight, forced a smile hoping my parents see it.
The cab soon halted, it was a quiet street with a few cars standing along the corners, with doors of restaurants, inns and bars closed tight not to let the jerking cold winter wind inside.
I looked at the words up in the place I would be living in for the coming week with other 19 young people from around the world and stepped out in the piercing cold of November with the yellowed weak leaves flying uncertainly in the wind asking me to welcome the new experience and wipe away the tear that couldn’t hide itself in my eye.