She was unlike anything I had ever seen. I will never forget how it felt like to be swallowed in her presence as she welcomed me with open arms. Her grandness made me feel small. I breathed in as much of her familiar scent as I could take in. She looked magnificent; tall and proud, she gazed down at me, the corners of her mouth curling into a pleasant smile. She held my childhood in her hands and my fate in her heart. And I knew at that moment, lost in nostalgia, that I never wanted to let her go.
I spotted new wrinkles on her majestic face reflective of fresh wounds and recent suffering, yet she still carried herself with a grace and kindness that I have yet to see. Slightly slouching, she seemed to carry the nation’s sorrows on her strong shoulders. She was old, but an unexpected and refreshing youthfulness seeped through her that made the hair on my neck stand. I was addicted. I had to see her again, and I did, every single day.
Her name was Iran. But I called her home.
She shone brightly even during the night. She had witnessed years of pain, seen too much blood spilt and wept rivers that ran along the mountains in the north and the valleys in the south. Yet she still stood as an icon for all things I associated with home and belonging. She was my past, and she is my future. I adored her in all her flaws and vulnerabilities; I was forever indebted to her. She was there from the start, and she’d remain with me until the end.
Smelling of freshly picked flowers and old oak, she embraced me, and I felt whole and at peace. She was all that remained. The land was all that remained. I sensed a connection that I know could never be replicated. The land belonged to me, and I belonged to it.
It was the land of my birth, the land of my ancestors, and the land of the unforgotten; forever eternal, forever mine.