During the festival of Eid this year, our Moroccan neighbors rented a bouncy house, enjoyed carnival games, and slaughtered forty farm animals (assorted goats, sheep, and three cows.) We enjoyed our neighbor’s festival from the comfort of our lawn chairs under the live oak tree in our backyard.
I for one, appreciated experiencing a slice of Morocco without having to travel to Morocco, but that’s our neighborhood for you. It’s stuffed full of diversity.
The festival of Eid celebrates the end of Ramadan and is as close to a hoot-a-nanny as you can get without being either a hoot or a nanny. Celebrating Abraham’s near sacrifice of Isaac, goats and sheep are butchered to honor the sparing of Isaac when God provided a “ram in a thicket” (see the book of Genesis in that big book called The Bible.)
There’s a lot of talk of diversity at Rollins College where I go to school. We speak of it. We debate it. We celebrate it. We swim in it. But until you’ve listened to your neighbors bone sawing their way through forty animal carcasses you’ve only dreamed of a universe full of the diverse; you’ve never lived next to it.
Grab a lawn chair and come on over if you want the real experience.
Daughter #1 pulled her lawn chair up next to mine and asked, “What’s happening now?”
“Not much. The traffic jam on Kissimmee Park Road of folks coming with coolers and gunnysacks has eased off and everyone seems to be settling in to party down.”
“What’s that sound?” The air rang with the energetic sounds of whirring blades.
“The bone saw.”
“Well, I’ll be,” she murmured, popping the top of a Coke.
“Hang on,” I instructed, leaning to my left, her right. “Check that kid out that just dropped his Igloo cooler.”
She leaned forward. “Which one?”
“Right there. The cooler on the ground, see it? The one with the haunch of beast that just rolled out.”
“Sure enough,” she said. “What is that? A leg? A rump? A pot roast?”
“Not sure, but it’s absolutely got a hoof hanging off of it. Pass the popcorn,” I said.
A good time was had by all.
Mr. Abe, our neighbor, asked me later if their festival of butchery bothered us at all. I told him, “Nope. There’s a reason we don’t live in a sub-division with a homeowner’s association. It’s your property and your goats and your bone saw. Slaughter away.”
He gave us a goat in appreciation. The goat was alive. We took it. And that, my friends, is diversity in all its undiluted purity.
Linda (Neighborhood Watch) Zern