“Happiness is my favorite word” —Ecehan
I pretty much know nothing of her. Other than the deep kindness that I felt radiating from her eyes, a soulful wisdom that blossomed through her soft and quite presence. An apparent respect of person human, proven in the way she open armed accepted time to join me in a sidewalk chat.
We talked of human nature and of the anticipation we feel every time we approach strangers. In short, I was taught again. Brought up to speed in being reminded of how impactful the smallest of gestures can have upon us. For in speaking with Ecehan, I was consoled. Reassured of the healing power of face-to-face interaction. Even with people we don’t know.
“Happiness is my favorite word,” she shares in a heavy and well-articulated dialect. A word that is one that I’m sure many of us quest. But, in researching her origins, I’ve been moved by a small subconscious voice to make a little conjecture.
With the labors of our language barrier, we never really spent time with a formal interview, and to address our “do you have any council for the world.” question? We just casually talked, and it was magnificent. Two people from radically different upbringings, able to connect on what felt like a spiritual plane; and, quite frankly, this is the first times I’ve written in the dark, guessing at the council, or even real feelings, of a stranger, now friend.
But there is something digging at my heart. Forcing me to take a stab at making Ecehan proud to be part of Operation-365. So I admit. I’m speculating. But there is a peace enveloping me as I do so. Maybe I’m deceiving myself into a rose-colored view of someone I don’t really know. Or maybe not; but, whatever it is that I am feeling, I cannot deny the need to share it.
Ecehan’s migrated to the United States in the 2011’s, and after spending a bit of Google time reading about the recent history of the region, I see a much bigger picture to the depth of her character.
Turkey, a land with a rich history of coups, protests and tensions: A political and religious hot bed, and a land filled with a richness of architecture and natural beauty far beyond written description. A country enmeshed in conflict; yet, at the same time, a country with a deep and proud heritage. A place where, on a daily basis, can be seen a first hand look at the courage and empathy man can have toward man, as well as a playing field for those who are afraid and cruel.
Yes, I have no idea of who Ecehan really is, other than being a kind and present human being. A person. Who like all of us, has right to receive the many blessing that freedom has to offer.
“I’ve lived here 3 years,” Ecehan tells me. “The word I want the world to hear is happiness,” she councils us; and as she does, my heart thanks her trust in speaking with me this day.
That nagging voice in my head won’t let go. It keeps pushing me to make one final and blind assessment. Still guessing who Ecehan is at the core. Lets just say my visual self is taking over as it creates a photomural. In three-dimensional color it reads: “A survivor of the most amazing kind.” But again I’m just guessing.