There was just a handful of us womenfolk there. A couple of women who are serving in the military, and a few women who are married to someone in the military, and decidedly un-military me.
I looked around at our little group and thought back to my days in LA, when I mostly hung out with grad students and artsy types. Back then, it never would have occurred to me that one day I'd spend a weekend evening drinking wine with a bunch of military folks in the middle of the middle east.
Weird, the twists and turns our lives take to get us where we're supposed to be. Is it fate? Is it luck? Pure happenstance? I don't know, but I frequently catch myself wondering what, exactly, I am doing on this exact patch of earth at this exact time. I drive myself crazy trying to figure out the reason. But maybe there is no reason. Maybe I just lucked into that girls' night out, simply because I was there. Because I am here.
Here is a weird place to be right now. People keep sending me links to things they read in the paper. (Go ahead and click on that link, or this one, unless you're my parents or my in-laws. Them, I'd advise not to click over.) Still, here is a good place to be, for me, at least, and for the most part. It was nice to sit for a few hours with friends and just laugh and gossip and generally act silly, without the distraction of kids or husbands or jobs. It was nice to forget about bidding for awhile, to forget about the other things that weigh on me over the course of an average day.
Today I'm back to my usual work and worry and not-enough-sleep. The dust is blowing in, my eyes are stinging, and the forecast calls for rain. The long Eid weekend is coming up, but most of my usual crowd is skipping town, so it'll be just my family, hanging around in an Amman that is turning to autumn at last, if by autumn you mean wind and dust and cloudy mornings.
And I'm left wondering, because autumn always turns me pensive: why, exactly, am I on this particular patch of earth at this particular moment in time? The dust storms seem to portend something significant, a big change of some sort. But what and why?
A random segue: from parties to dust storms to fate itself. But trust me - it's all connected in my mind. So I sit and watch the dust settle in the cracks, and I'm grateful for the friends I've made here, and happy that they pulled me out of pensive autumn, if only for a few hours on a random Friday evening.