By: SUSAN SKAZA
BIRTA, Morocco –
As the sun shone out of the clear blue sky and a cold breeze blew, Baba and Amina planted bsla, chives, one by one by one. In the arid, rocky, red soil, they planted the chives evenly at a relaxed speed. They moved with a sense of duty as well as harmony with their surroundings.
Baba turned up the cracked dirt with his hoe, while Amina pressed the chives into the ground, following the twists and turns of the prepared field. Using her index finger, she pushed the blades gently into the soil, highlighting the maze of rows.
The chives were planted on the edge of the mounds, so their spindly roots could reach the water that would collect in the channel bellow. Poking up along their perch on the mound, the green chives stood out brightly against the dark red soil. There were patches of green where fava beans, chives and other crops had been planted, but most of the sweeping field still begged to be filled with life.
On this communal farmland, Baba and Amina were the only ones to be seen. Other than the sound of the wind and the soft crackle of the soil as they planted the chives, they worked in silence. As the setting sun lent a further chill to the air, the clean spring smell of growing trees, turned up earth, and fresh air from the mountains visible in the distance permeated the area.
The evening wore on and there was still more to do, but Amina left to fix dinner. Baba stayed alone in the wide-open field, continuing to plant the chives, one by one by one.