Last month, one of my moms 9 sisters from Jordan came to America. With her she bought the reminders. I dab some of the fresh olive oil on to my forehead. Home sticks to my skin.

Freshly pressed from the trees back home by my aunts, their intentions and good energies reach me across time/space. My body relaxes as it accepts their blessings. 

I ask my Khalto Hanan----

Tell me once more about the trees.

I miss hearing it from you. 

Who planted them? When did they begin growing? How did they reshape themselves with the seasons?  What has the tree seen? What secrets does the tree hold? Do you think they’re going to chop it off? 

Collectively we remember---The tiny but majestic olive tree that sustain(ed)(s) my family over an increasingly widening time-space. It stands tall always persuming an air of mystery.

But to our hearts,
the roots sunk deep into the earth,
the nations that have come and gone while the tree stood, 
the life-forms that have been invited into its shade, 
the water that it has circulated from its roots to its tips 
the tree expresses the story of life.

The ways in which it has grown and shrunk, died, and revived. 

With or without us, 
through all the whirlwinds

that tree still stands. 

My aunts warnings ensue---The jinn dwell in trees. They dwell by water. Be wary when you are in their presence. Be respectful and do not. Do not disturb their homes.

Khlato Hanan! I have not forgotten. Trust me habibti, I would never. The Djinn have so much patience with us---my family. The least I can do is to pay my respects when I’m in their homes. Perhaps we can invite them into ours? 


The Islamic World Tree takes its most common name, Shajarat al-Tûba (Tree of Bliss) in several hadîths. Ibn Hanbal traces to Abû-Sa‘îd al-Khudrî the tradition that a Bedouin approached the Prophet and asked, “What is bliss (tûba)?” The Prophet answered:

Bliss is a tree in Paradise, a tree of a hundred years’ walk, and those under the tree are clothed in clothes from the sleeves (i.e. flower calixes) of the tree