Literal contest "Why stay in B&H?"

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country with nafaka, but with brainstorming head

Amina Kovačević,
Student of the Faculty of Law
First prize in the contest of "Bošnjaci" Fund, Sarajevo.

Through the narrow path, from a stone to stone, as every day, at accelerated pace, I went to the house at the end of the village. Spring spilled greenness everywhere. The hot Sun pinched my cheeks by its long, gentle fingers. My grandmother waited for me at the door-step, and embracing me gently, gripped my head with her hands. As before we sat on soft mattresses carried out on the porch covered by sunlight. And there in grandmother’s eyes blossomed a hundred of springs, so she continued her story which we started yesterday. So the two of us each day begin and never finish a story about the homeland. The story about Bosnia.

A green valley spread in front of our eyes, plum orchards were around and the tops of a mountain at the distance. “This is your piece of land…”, grandmother begins and spreads her skinny head like she is embracing everything in front of her. I’m turning back in my mind, when this valley was wounded by thousand of ominous grenades and her bowels torn by evil and disaster. I can see clearly thumbs below the grove. There is the grave of late Bajro, the father of my best friend. I remember that fatal day when we, hidden in the basement of grandmother’s home, bestrewed by rain of bullets, heard the sad news about Bajro’s death.

Bajro didn’t want to leave his valley and get back, even an inch. And he stayed its forever, in its arms, merged with it. Memories on the father of my friend hurt me, and hurt me her crying eyes that day and all days thereafter. Pain makes despite in my chest, awakes proud of all fathers who gave themselves for the beauty of this country, proud of all my friends to whom, instead of mother’s chest, remained the lap of this country. My fingers inadvertently grip the grandmother’s “dimije” and her soft voice calms a storm in my soul. And soul is like the soul, real Bosnian, children’s, wider and deeper than a sea, it would put in its nest everything which was lost, hungry and barefoot, frozen, so it would warm it, feed…

My soul is alike my Bosnia. It would accept in its glades dressed in wedding dresses made of grass, its groves decorated with leaves and clear waters intertwined with whisper of the wind, all homeless, all anguished and unhappy ones. Its embracement is gentle and warm like my grandmother’s, and in its eyes there are thousands of springs. Its song is like dream of a child, deep and innocent, undisturbed. It smells like lilies and youth, flourished from a site of fire, abducted by paws of evil…

My thoughts were broken by the grandmother’s soft voice: “You are born here and you will stay here, mu child, because there are no anywhere glades like these and plum orchards… But, I’m going to tell you more tomorrow…”

The Sun has already changed its shirt and instead of golden, it dressed purple one. The grandmother’s story makes me ebullient and for a moment woke up pushed thoughts… thoughts which hurt my soul, but also refresh it. I continued to write the letter, started so many times so far, to my friend, so known, and so alienated…
I was wondering…

Why my grief and aversion so often fill the soul of those who want to live in accordance with foreign rules, or want to adjust to foreign ideals – while, on the contrary, those who are in peace with own life – which is at the end something completely nothing, unexplainable, only certain weakness – cheerful and careless?! There are no friends there, my friend, why do you turn your face and look for something that doesn’t exist?! Even blind could see, and both your eyes are in vain to you. Don’t turn steps back, because it’ll be enough to remember and return – if you feel your due, because someone who watches you in that way and keeps you at the edge of abyss, he cannot be your friend.

You never knew how to read between rows, or how to find a bad wire on a violin which you always considered only as nice. Even warm august rains can’t wash that unfortunate expression from your face, someone who is constantly in doubts in his own "me", because you are scared of what they call morrow and you are afraid… At least, if you can admit… But I’m not going to judge you!

There are always prisoners who judged to themselves and fell so low, in mud, and unknown. In any way no one will help you, just no one, if you stay where you are now and if you are not ready to make a step there behind clouds, there where the Sun shines, there where rains don’t fall. You are not one of fortunate to whom life other create under their measures. And it’s better to understand as soon as possible how soon you can lose the ground below feet. Perhaps even next day everything will be too late, and then there is no return. You are not a part of my past, nothing bonds you to me. You have your own goal and perhaps you succeed to run over everything in front of you. Perhaps you will drop my feelings, wrapped in fog, under your feet, step over them to crash everything good which remained in me.
Could somewhere there, where you don’t know anybody and where you beg for a piece of bread, be better and nicer, when you had here everything you need?!
Which are the houses and castles bigger and warm than yours?! Someone fooled you my friend, nowhere is as warm as in own place.

I wrote you so many times, and now I don’t know what to write to unknown, but so known. How to explain to you why tears shed here, why red roses blossom on stones… blossomed in blood! Is there any Sun in your eyes? Would you believe me if I tell you that someone here quarreled with faith and hope, and kill by force something that can’t be killed?! O, my friend… Could you recognize me if I send you a picture of burned sites and ruins, and we ate the same bread and didn’t remain hungry.
They lie to you in your world of feather and beauty. They can’t lie to me, because I’m here, with stretched arms. Only truth can be seen on my palms. It was somewhere there, it was written and spoken, but it is now here, between walls of our rooms, in the canopies of our trees, something muddy and dark, darker than a night. It takes away a lot of nice days, unlived youth, love… It perishes in grayness of smoke, plunges in noise of the cold weapon. 
Who are those people, who can kill childhood in children’s eyes, youth on girl’s lips, and calmness in old man’s chest…

Something gentle alike happiness replies from darkness, but new morning erase everything, destroy, forget… Thanks to God, everything passed, but you are not here, you didn’t come back. If I told you that I roam you wouldn’t believe, because I’m not even alike to someone who loses and perishes in own whirl…
I put a pen aside, calmed down furious thoughts looking at the field lit by moonlight and its magic… And like they something talk to me. Again I felt warmth of my land. Only here the Moon is smiling like this and by its light reveals everything hidden, and makes that deeply protected secrets emerge from deep abysses, hidden truths…

Wherever I turn, and when I close my eyes, I see you, my Bosnia! There is a writer who says that we are the most complicated people in the world. He says that we are the only people who keep time due to scare of any solution. That writer says it is an accident that we fall in love with this our dead zone, and we won’t go from it, and everything is paid, and also that love. The writer says and why we are too soft and too harsh, effeminate and hard. He says and why only Bosnians hide themselves behind love, the only certainty in this our ambiguity! We are like that because we never really cared, and when we do not care it means that we are honesty, and when we are honest, then bravo to our craziness!

History made a joke with Bosnia – as it didn’t to any other country in the world – also writer says. Yet, Bosnia is my only homeland and no other it can be. Its rivers flow through my veins, when they override it as they do it on me, when they divide it – they torment me, but here I’m again: alive, alive for it, as it is for me, both survive and think how life can go on by force, but you cannot dye like that.

My Bosnia, I don’t know how to spell out lyrics, or sing songs, but I can feel you inside of me and I know that you feel me and you are giving me as much as I want to take and as much as I make efforts to turn it back to you. I know that your lap is also mine and that you have a lot to offer, but this apathy is killing you, disunion, oblivion…  Your children forget it and that’s why it is happening to them again. Your wounds are still fresh, and they make you new ones, but don’t give up Bosnia, because you are my only homeland and no other it can be! It cannot be, because I am a part of you and you are a part of me, one without the other does not exist.
Live for me, Mother, as you were always, in spite of everything, proud, the most proud – that wall they couldn’t destroy and they never will. Thank you, my friend, because you embedded that feature in my heart, because I do not allow them to step over me, and because from every defeat I come out as a winner, no matter how defeat was hard. Thank you, Bosnia, because I can count on you when other go on their roads because you’re your road is mine, mine road leads toward you, because I want you whole, I don’t give you to others, I don’t allow your division, because long time age you took me, when I wasn’t even aware of it.

My Bosnia, you gave me something most important and most necessary to my being, and something that feeds it and make its personality, but not as a dry plant, you gave me freedom – you gave me freedom to think and freedom to say what I think. There are solutions in you. Either hell or freedom! If it is not clear to someone he can go from Bosnia!

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