24 July 2017
GREECE REFLECTION: The Tree with
the Ten Fruits; conversations with a boy named Sina at Pikpa.
by: Rûnbîr Serkepkanî
does not believe in the standardized definition of things. His mind does not
comprehend standardized frameworks. He understands life as flowing — flowing
into dreams, trees, animals and seas. He is passionate about planting. Outside
his family’s house he has sown dozens of flowers, herbs and other plants in
little pots. Once I was sitting on the bench outside the office. And he came up
to me with one of them. “I planted this!” he says, “I love planting”. Chicki,
one of the dogs of the camp, is present, and Sina tries to feed Chicki with the
plant. Chicki is not really interested.
he sailed to Athens with his family for his interview at the asylum office, he
came back full of new impressions and ideas about things. He trots past me once
riding on a stick. “Is that your new horse, Sina?” I ask him. He stops and
wipes the sweat from his brow with his arm. “No, it is not,” he said, “It is my
new train”. Then he approaches me. “We went to Athens by ferry. The ferry was
so big. We went to the top of the ferry and the sea was all around us,” he
exults. “How was Athens?” I ask. “Athens is too crowded. We went by train. It is
like a big snake which goes under the ground. We went inside it and it took us
all the way to my uncle’s place,” he replies. “I have to get on my train
again,” he finishes. Then he rides off aboard his train.
he first came to Pikpa, a community run by CPT partner Lesbos Solidarity, he
was very nervous. They had been at Moria, the government run camp for asylum
seekers, for many months. He always hid behind his mother. He was capturing all
the vibrations around him with his big ears and looking for threats. He would
never respond if you talked to him. He hid in the house all the time. Step by
step he emerged from his shell until he became the new child star of Pikpa.
the first conversations I had with Sina was when we both were sitting on the wall
near the only fig tree at Pikpa. “Do you know what kind of tree this is?” I ask
him. “This is the tree of ten fruits,” he says. “It is a fig tree, Sina. You
have to accept that. Look at the leaves, they are so big. Look at the milky sap
in the branches,” I say while picking a leaf from the tree and showing him what
is inside it. “First of all, this tree is not a fig tree. Second of all, it can
bear ten different fruits, with ten different sizes, colours and flavours – but
not figs,” he retorts.
a fishing season now, and of course Sina is passionate about fishing. I enjoy
sitting beside him while he digs for worms in the soft soil with his little
hands and little stick. “The fish love these worms. And I love these fish,” he
says laughing. During those small moments I am not the grown up nor is he the
child. We are two equal humans digging with little sticks after little worms
for fish of different sizes.
father is almost like a mythological figure for him. His father has become the
hero who can achieve anything, kill every demon and catch any fish in any sea.
That day Sina is casting his big fishing rod with his little arms into the
enormous sea. His hook falls two feet from him, where I doubt any fish is
swimming. When he does not catch anything, he collects the fishing string and
changes the way the bait is attached to the hook and then casts it again into
the water. His father gives him instructions, as proud as a father can be about
a son learning how to catch his food from the sea. I observe them later on the
rocks by the shore. Sina’s father is casting the hook into the water. When they
catch a fish, we clap our hands for them and Sina claps with us.
father, that son. Lineages of fingers touching the warm soft earth, casting
lines for the fish in the sea, imagining Pikpa’s lone fig tree, catching ten
different fruits with ten different flavours and ten different tastes. Wherever
they walk, they plant seeds of love, which will grow to mighty trees, giving
shade and sweet fruit to the wanderers who will follow them.