Happiness has a scent to me, a weighty, thick odor of cumin and overripe citrus. This odor greets me as I enter the foyer of the sand – coloured apartment building, its weight supported by columns of substantial girth. The building has developed with the times, its rickety stairs of my younger years changing over to a whirring lift, sleek and highly polished steps. I step over the threshold, along with a onslaught of familiar sights, fragrances, and sounds greets me. The flat is stifling, and little, stuffy, comprising a combination living and dining room, an attached kitchen, one pale – hued toilet, and two tiny bedrooms.
Within the room of olive toned and dark haired relatives, my mom is an accidental minority, her blond head clashing with all the three brown ones across from hers as she perches in the coffee table. As my two young cousins tussle around his legs the TV blares and a football match is on, my uncle is seeing it. As is custom with these kinds of parties, my aunt is really in the kitchen with my safta’s Indonesian nurse, and judging just from the aromas exuding from the crowded kitchen, they’re in the middle of making piles of diet-disregarding food.
I sit comfortably, considering the three new adjectives that I’m able to describe myself with. In Israel, I’m a niece, but also all of these, a granddaughter, along with a cousin. My limited family tree exists in two farremoved locations, just in 1 of which I could feel it tangibly. But seldom do I receive an opportunity to do something that many of my own friends take for granted. But here, like I sit in the table, I feel happy. Instead of the offender being a fresh pair of shoes, or perhaps a soughtafter test mark, it’s togetherness. I’m reveling within the fundamental and primal enjoyment of being with my family, of being with individuals who share my surname as well as physical characteristics. I believe within the simplicity of well-being, of togetherness being all I have to feel whole.