I look to the now, to the present.
The light that sneaks through the cracks in the rubble gives space to what I have been carrying inside me for decades and has never left me for a moment.
There are traces of a once powerful and rich city.
I stand and listen in the garden of the house in Aydin.
The orange trees smother me with their fragrance.
But more intense is the smell of melted butter and toasted almonds. They prepare Aydin halva because in the evening they have a dance.
I stand in silence and listen to everything that happened there.
I collect one by one the moments of a story. The history of my country.
I collect one by one all that the heart remembers, all that the land remembers.
I stand in the now, in the present.
The light that passes through the cracks in the rubble reveals my people.
The place remembers. It remembers all that has happened and from silence it passes to sound.
It is the Aydin Philharmonic, it is the serenades and operettas at the Aydin Club, it is the angelic woman who embroidered singing.
I look around me.
My horizon stops nowhere, its line opens, spreads out and becomes a bird that travels from Pergamos, to Aydin and from Aydin to Smyrna and then back again.
I am rich.
My wealth is what I have seen on this journey, what happened in this place and I am a part of this history and this history is my home through the centuries and will always be.
Nothing has been taken from me by time, nothing has been taken from me by time. I have it all here along with Grandma’s embroidery, along with the atlas quilts and their all-gold threads.
I bring you the greetings of our ancestors. I continue my journey and follow that invisible hand that shows me the way. This road is not unknown to me, but neither am I unknown to it. This place is not unknown to me. It is my home in beautiful and green Aydin!