Our family went for a walk around the neighborhood last night with a quick foray into the woods. We are working to breathe deep the sights and sounds and scents of our Turkish world as we enter our last two weeks here.
It was a typical walk. The air was cool, the sky clear and the neighborhood alive with the sound of kids playing – ours included.
Walking down from the hill behind the block, we came across a new flower, one neither Consuelo nor I had seen here in Turkey. We’ve seen a lot too – picking flowers is staple activity in our family.
Right away we thought it looked like an onion – long narrow stem with a bulb like ball of its unopened flower on top. We picked one and sure enough it smelled an awful lot like onion but not quite.
Consuelo thought is smelled a bit more like garlic and so we pulled one up. There at the bottom of the stem was an acorn sized bulb of garlic. Breaking a clove off and biting into it, the taste was most certainly garlic, though much milder than its larger domestic cousins.
Our little discovery highlights what we have loved so much about our neighborhood here on the edge of Istanbul. It also gets me excited for our return to the states.
Before moving to Turkey, we regularly had gardens that produced garlic and onions and potatoes and a whole assortment of good food that we ate all summer, into the fall and, in the case of potatoes, onions and garlic, clear through till spring.
I look forward to gardening again, to getting up early to spend an hour or so digging in the earth, planting, tending and harvesting. I look forward to eating food that we have grown – not that Turkey doesn’t have the most amazing produce.
I guess that little garlic glove was a symbol perhaps of the life that is before us – filled with hope and flavor and the chance to grow.
A symbol for us all.