We patiently watched as the skies passed us by, enjoyed the smell of fresh olive day, and gazed upon the fields of glowing green, a sure sign that winter was on its way.
This is one of Palestinians’ special days, like an adventure, diving deep into nature and giving us the power to preserve our identity.
Enthusiasm takes over us with a blind passion for waking up before dawn.
My father starts to prepare ladders, bags, and mats as my mom kneads saj: a bread made with love, and waits for dipping time with the first drops of olive oil. I and my siblings try to help.
I don’t think there’s anything tastier than saj with newly-pressed, fresh olive oil. If you haven’t tried it yet, you have missed a lot.
Our special day is expressed in different dialects, from the far north to the far south, picking and singing, singing and picking.
Olive trees, whose shade we sit under, shelter us as we listen to grandmother’s stories. She’s over eighty and has the same prominent veins like olive trees, but she is still younger than the olive trees that surround us everywhere, inspiring and connecting us between past and present.
My courageous uncles, who are our heroes; my little siblings’ jokes and innocence; and the stories between our beloved ones all make it easier, even though we feel exhausted, to continue picking.
And for this little girl who perfected her first steps on the pure soil of Palestine, it’s really a breathtaking view.
By the end of the picking days when the sun sets, we taste the first drops of olive oil in a manner that only happens twice a year, but we can’t eat pressed olives until we wait a week.
However, this just means a second opportunity to experience incredible hours during Palestine’s delicious olive harvest.
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