Overflowing: My Iran Trip Highlight

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By Barbara Briggs-Letson

As I reached to bring my hot pink scarf up and over my grey hair, the colors around me, like a Sistine Chapel gone mad, shot energy into the room. Biblical stories, olden characters from early Christianity ran riot on walls and ceilings.

I was in an Assyrian Church in Estefan, Iran, had chatted with four women, one of whom spoke English, a little English and spoke smile too, a lot of smile. An interpreter/minder had joined us, helped with our understanding and putting an official damper on the
conversation as we were moving on to the nearby museum.

I was saying my good-byes. A last thought for my new friend came out of my mouth — "may I give you a hug?” She hesitated, then replied, “yes.” So we both opened our arms in that international woman's way of connecting. She hesitated again. So I did too. She was the one whose country was our somewhat reluctant host. She pulled her scarf down, showed her hair to the world, opened her arms in a gesture of freedom which I had not seen in my six days in Iran. I pulled my scarf down to accompany her, so we shared that moment of freedom and continued with our hug.

As hugs go, it was the best of my life.

That's why I was overflowing.

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