I don’t know when it slipped into my speech that soft word meaning, “if God wills it.” Insha’Allah I will see you next summer. The baby will come in spring, insha’Allah. Insha’Allah this year we will have enough rain.
So many plans I’ve laid have unraveled easily as braids beneath my mother’s quick fingers.
Every language must have a word for this. A word our grandmothers uttered under their breath as they pinned the whites, soaked in lemon, hung them to dry in the sun, or peeled potatoes, dropping the discarded skins into a bowl.
Our sons will return next month, insha’Allah. Insha’Allah this war will end, soon. Insha’Allah the rice will be enough to last through winter.
How lightly we learn to hold hope, as if it were an animal that could turn around and bite your hand. And still we carry it the way a mother would, carefully, from one day to the next.