Road to Beauty: Afghanistan

I was going to write about the road to terror this week and words like Muslim Majority Countries that are being used without a lot of knowledge about what that really means, but instead I decided to write about the beauty of these countries as I have experienced it.

Very few places in the United States are as remote as most places in Afghanistan, except possibly most of the Native American Reservations, where most Americans have never journeyed.

If you read about Afghanistan these days you will hear about concerns that it will become a “failed state” but consider, maybe they are looking at a different definition of success than what we originally carved out for them.

I have never seen a people who come from so little dream so big. They dream about a place where women can where a headscarf and makeup, where a boy can go to school and learn the Koran and a place where there version of American Idle is boys and girls competing in Koran recitation.


Central Asia Slipped Into My Heart

Central Asia slipped into my heart

sometime when I wasn’t looking

at the horror,

The arid still beauty,

the brightly colored tribal clothing

hidden under burkas

In the starving face of every Taliban child-soldier

I witnessed the determination of a people

to do more than just survive.

I couldn’t save your starving children

even through the fluid I pushed

into their veins,

Even the nutrition

I pumped into their swollen bellies

was rejected,

In a field or hospital tent,

warrior’s blood flowed through my hands

from both sides of the struggle.

Fiercely dedicated

to the mission,

the art in their craft of conflict,

Not cold in frozen emotion,

instead I saw

flaming blue heat,

A testament to

the fiery passion

of their conviction.

Could America burn through

this level of despair, desperation,

to plant hope and nurture dreams?

I go outside in the early morning quiet

back in the green wooded landscape

of my American home,

In a heartbeat

I am there

in the burning dry air of summer.

There is no way

I will ever completely

leave that place,

It has woven itself permanently

into every fiber of my being,

and penetrated every cell.


About Frances Wiedenhoeft

After a lifetime in nursing, anesthesia and the Army I now write, blog, attend school for journalism and massage, and watch my 3 grandchildren. I am a veteran of Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan and try to serve other vets such as myself, and to work for peace.
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