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My childhood friend’s Cyprus-born grandfather once recalled an old adage as we ran among the olive trees at her family’s farm: “If you fall asleep under a fig tree, you get a headache,” he said. “But if you fall asleep under an olive tree, you dream.”

Olives have long been the fruit of visionaries and dreamers, ever since Athena stood over Athens with a peaceful olive branch in hand. Long before it became a staple in modern pantries, olive oil was exalted in ancient religious texts: It’s one of the first foods mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, Muhammad deemed olive trees holy in the Koran, it’s daubed on baptized heads in Judeo-Christian tradition and its branches were found in the Tutankhamen tomb to protect the


This story is from Kinfolk Issue Sixteen

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