Mia Mattsson Mercer

Children and Animal Warrior

Tag Archives: war

When Life Gives you Yellow Lemons

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“In the moment of fear, you can choose. You can always choose.

With calmness and stability you can think clearly. With clarity you can predict the storm, and its strength. By standing still, you can observe your own strength.” said the old Bosnian woman.

After the war had ended, I worked in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina on helping the growing numbers of homeless and sick animals.

Not much worked in the area, the elevator, and my flat was on eight floor.  My stove had only one burner working, I had to wash my clothes in the bathtub. However, the heat in my apartment was on full speed. It was tropical-hot. In every home I visited, it was tremendously hot. No one wanted to freeze anymore. 

Nearly every survivor said the same thing. “The worst feeling was freezing!”

One day I got sick with a high fever. The Bosnian woman, who had become like a mother to me, came up to my apartment on sniper alley. With her she had two beautiful bright yellow lemons, and some leaves with white flowers on. In my small kitchen she started to brew tea with her expensive lemons and handpicked flowers. She smelled the flowers and I saw her smile. In her face I could see the love and thankfulness towards the herbs. She handed me the cup telling me to drink slowly, to feel the strength returning back inside of me. 

“When chaos is in the world you have to relearn how to live with Nature.”

1999-2002