My Town in Syria through "The Harvest Moon"

Runner-up: Abir Yousef

What people lived in the past decades was not easy and did not bring reassurance. In the past, people had no means of subsistence other than agriculture. If they worked and planted and reaped their crops, they ate. That time the moon sets and lights up in their lives. The painting represents the lighting of the moon on the farmers' lives.

Hope and joy in their harvest snatched wheat dust and embraced in a longing of another kind. The moon is the only witness to their happiness and misery. It is the friend who helps them with its light and provides them with energy. This painting makes me go back to the past and makes me look at the love that makes them love fatigue and work despite its difficulty. We were created in the lap of nature. We learned that there is no harvest without planting. We, humans, sow seeds and wait for them to grow. Good seeds give fruitful and beneficial trees, and unhealthy seeds harm those around them. I mean, our morals and behavior with other people. With love and work, the moon will light up.

We did not realize how many days he likes to work harder, so the harvest was not good. Our feeling of grumbling will not give us what we wish for, and we will not reach the wishes we aspire. As we make more effort, we will find the moon shining in our lives. Happiness begins with the seed that we plant in the ground.

This painting brings me back to the old memories. To my childhood, village, and dreams. People were eagerly waiting for the harvest season. They hoped to ensure the presence of food for their children and families before the winter season. I still remember my father's chants when he saw the moonlight and stars. A place and the echo of the crackling of its branches made the music sing the drops of dew. Families hope to complete this work quickly. They grew every harvest bundle with love, and the feeling of contentment was that tomorrow is better.

Today, the harvest season is not part of my village's excitement anymore. The war has exhausted, and the eruptions have cut off the spirit of the earth. Darkness has descended on my beautiful city. No one is waiting for the moonlight.

I remember the happiness I used to feel when my father would hug me when I used to complain about harvesting. I realize that the moon will shine when we are together. I realized that there is another meaning of harvest for our lives and memories. It will never come again. It will bloom somewhere else, and we will have many hopes to fulfill. When we search for things inside our hearts, we feel that time has passed. Yet, the remnants of pain are still. Some utter it, and others turn it into a painting that ripples in colors. They try to tell and print a medal for those who were there. However, others may prefer to express their pain or joy by singing. There is no right or wrong way to express happiness and pain because we are humans and the moons to others.

About the author

Abir Yousef studied in the Humanities Department at Gateway Community College in fall 2021.

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Top image
Samuel Palmer, The Harvest Moon (detail), ca. 1833, oil on paper, laid on panel, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection