Sunday, September 18, 2011

one way

When I was in Makkah, the world made started to make perfect sense. There were times
when I did tawaf, and I was completely silent. I had nothing to ask for. Just forgiveness and mercy. The best time for tawaf was before fajr, of course. And then the rising sun would join us. There was incredible peace even with the inevitable pushing and shoving. I didn't mind it at all. It actually made it easy, I barely had to move my feet, the momentum of the worshipers drove the revolutions.

And the energy I had! We only ate two meals a day. One after fajr. The other late at night after isha'a. Breakfast was always scrambled eggs, lentils, olives, cheese, and black tea. But it always tasted so satisfying and wholesome. Dinner was something my dad wanted, usually a Pakistani traditional dish. I stopped taking the elevators, because I realized it was faster and more efficient to go up 6 flights of stairs than to wait for the elevator, even after a day's worth of ibadah under the Arabian sun. We would sleep at around 10pm and then get up a 2 am. I never needed an alarm clock, and I never hesitated to jump out of bed. I was high on life and so utterly happy. I became a tawaf-junkie. My father stopped chaperoning me for tawaf the first night at Makkah. "You do what you want, I need some rest."

I watched the birds. I chased the pigeons. I talked or attempted to talk to sisters from Algeria, Egypt, Turkey and Malaysia. I listened to the hum of distant Qur'an recitations. I took naps on the vast carpets. I was alone and loved it. Even with one million? other people.

And here I am, I've lost that security of peace. I knew it wouldn't last.
It was my Makkan-high, but I am grateful I experienced it. It's my place of peace, when nothing makes sense... It's my escape and my hope that one day things will make sense..

But one thing Makkah never had and never will is trees...and the season of Autumn. It's my favorite time of the year...and I am grateful.

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