Springtime in Kabul
Today is officially the first day of spring!
March 20th marks the Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and while it may not look remotely like spring right now in Finland, in my mind these photos which were taken in Kabul in the spring of 2008 will always be how I envision a perfect Springtime.
Every time this year, my heart wings its flight to Afghanistan. I find myself going back to a place which holds a deep fragment of my soul captive. Just as springtime is symbolic of rebirth, renewal and growth, Afghanistan will always be for me a personal symbol of hope and a place which restored my faith in mankind.
This country so synonymous with war, conflict and tragedy to me remains a place of unexpected peace and healing. A place so profoundly marked by loss and grief and yet, the spirit of the people rise up again and again.
Today I also want to especially remember the people of Afghanistan as they celebrate the Naw Ruz – the Persian New Year. I want to remember that in a country devastated by war and untold tragedies lie some of the greatest examples of human dignity, endurance, strength and exceptional beauty.
If you ever want to meet a kinder folk, tender hearts and fiercely loyal friends, go to Afghanistan. I believe it is one of the last bastions of our world where a people group relatively untouched and unspoilt by modern materialism still exists.
Celebrating the festive season at the family home of our driver. As following custom, the women and menfolk were separated into different rooms when guests visit the house. These are the strong, vibrant and beautiful Afghan women.
The children of the household. This family had about 30 members all living under one roof – the patriach and matriach of the home, their five sons and their wives, a trail of cousins and an assortment of children.
My son with the youngest daughter of the family.
Once upon a time I lived in Afghanistan and it changed my life forever.
Happy Nowruz to you and your friends!Brilliant photography, i believe these are cherry blossoms?The flowers don’t stop growing midst wars and enmity, i hope we all learn from it, that hatred can never come in the way of life, it still blooms!
Thank you so much for the New Year wishes! You are so right – beauty exists in the most unexpected of places and stands out even more beautiful than ever! I love what you are doing with the message of compassion. What is our purpose in life underlying everything we do if not to spread compassion?
Such beautiful pictures of the nature. Thank you for sharing your story and I do agree with you about going to Afghanistan to meet the people. I’m currently in Afghanistan right now and have met some very friendly people since being here. It’s amazing what kindness you can find when stepping out of your own culture.
Oh Jennifer! That’s so wonderful to know! Please do share some impressions of life there in your blog. I wish you a meaningful time in this rich ancient civilisation. Hugs, Sharon
It’s a wonderful thing to read such positive thoughts about Afghanistan, and to see such brilliant images.
Thank you so much for stopping by and for leaving such a kind comment! I am excited about your blog because the issue of education is one very close to my heart. I am especially struck by the fact that you see values and the recognition of spirituality as essential aspects of education. Very glad to have met you! Sharon
It’s a sad fact that spiritual intelligence, like our social and emotional intelligences, is barely even recognised let alone deliberately developed within so many school systems around the world. Some of us are doing our best to develop a vocabulary and the concepts needed to put these things on a common educational agenda – for the sake of all our children. As you can tell from 3Di’s recent blogs, we’re fascinated by and envious of the education system you have in Finland. Maybe you could write about it from a parent’s perspective? GF
All I will say is I am so glad I am following you. This post, the pictures and the write up made me so happy!
Aww, thank you so much! That means a lot to me. Sharon
oh all these beautiful flowers and beautiful people! that was a treat for the eyes! thank you! and i am really glad i found your blog, it is beautiful in many ways and i will be happy to put it in the blogroll of my fotoblog. love from germany, giannina
My dear Giannina, I am so touched by your warm and generous feedback. And I’m so thrilled that you want to include me in your blogroll – my first time on a blogroll! (I’m doing little funny twists of joy here!) 😀 Thanks so much. Hugs, Sharon
dear sharon, if this if your first time on a blogroll, then something is definitely missing in a lot of peoples blogrolls! :))) i love the thought of you doing funny twists of joy ;).
love from germany
Thank you, incredibly moving.
Such excellent photos!! Such beautiful flowers and people 🙂
Thank you so much! You have an amazing collection! It will take me quite a while to catch up to where you are :D…Thanks for the encouragement! Sharon
Wonderful images this morning. Thank you.
Thank you! As always yours is a sight to behold. (what a garden you have!!) And Happy Belated Birthday! Sharon
What a beautiful journey! The people and pictures all come to life in your words.
Dear Sheila Marie, thank you for stopping by and leaving behind a trail of kind words. You have a beautiful blog and your writings and photographs radiate a depth I rarely see in 16- year olds. I’m so happy to know someone like you! Hugs, Sharon
Aww, Sharon you have such a kind heart! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I truly look forward to your future postings.
Light and love, Sheila Marie
These are beautiful pictures. 🙂
Thank you Elizabeth! It is always a pleasure to meet international nomads with blogs that reflect beauty and a mission to encourage others and appreciate life deeply. Sharon
Such beautiful images and words.
Thank you so much Meanderer. I am blessed each time I visit The Lantern Room – what a place of beauty. So glad to be connected. Shaz
Your blog is amazing. Followed.
Thank you Mehmudah! Likewise! I have so many good memories of Dubai! I am beyond happy to meet you and to follow your fascinating blog! Hugs, Sharon
you are a wonderful photographer. beautiful pictures, looking forward to keeping up with your blog
Hi Catherine! Thank you for stopping by! I’m still learning the ropes with photography but I’m enjoying this new pastime immensely. I’m enjoying your blog and all those healthy beauty tips. Have a great day! Sharon
Pingback: A beautiful park in Kabul | No More Tears
Excellent photograpy and eloquent writing skills, Sharon. Always admired your talent. Proud to announce that you’re from Kulim too. Has Peng Kwan been coaching you in photography? I don’t blame him if he is envious of you. Keep it coming. Have introduced your writings to my wife as well. Cheers.
Dear Chandran, I’m so glad you made your way here. It really means so much to me. Thank you for your warm encouragement! Oh the next time I meet up with my brother I’m making him give me a day of private tutoring – so much for me to learn about photography still!! But he better watch out cos his sis is going to catch up one day!!! 😀 And a warm welcome to Ruth, I would so much like to meet her and your baby girl one day. Next time we’re back in Kulim ok! Here’s to the good old days and to plenty more good new tomorrows my dear Kulimite! Your old Kulim friend, Sharon.
Beautiful pictures and a heartwarming snapshot of a place we only ever hear bad things about hewre in Europe. Thanks for sharing your images and memories.
Thank you so much for visiting! There are so many ways of looking at the world isn’t it? And the best part is to realise there truly still exists so much goodness and beauty in it. Thank you for capturing the world of nature through your stunning work. Sharon
Love how everyone is so happy in the last picture. 🙂
What a beautiful tribute to the people of Afghanistan, Sharon! How long did you spend there, and in what capacity? It’s really quite wonderful to connect with others who are passionate about education and making a difference in the world.
Hi again Tricia! To answer your question – we were in Kabul from 2007-2009 and would have loved to stay on longer if not for the fact that it became a non-family posting due to heightened security. My husband worked as a Development Advisor to the Embassy of Finland in Kabul overseeing all Finnish funded projects in Afghanistan. Our little boy basically grew up and spent his earliest childhood in Kabul. Thank you for your kind interest in a country and a people who have stayed so deeply in my heart since… Hugs to you! Sharon
Wow, beautiful pictures and beautiful words Sharon. I’m so glad I found your blog. Your writing is so eloquent and when I saw your posts about Afghanistan, I thought you must be an Afghan, however I read your About Me and I was surprised. Usually in today’s society, not many people know who Afghans are, their culture, traditions, etc., but I’m so happy to see you writing about this! Being an Afghan-American it makes me happy to see non-Afghans knowing about my culture. You have a wonderful blog, I’m definitely following.