Friday, 10 August 2012


          Ambling down the path, gusty winds blowing up our hijaabs. I sighed and began to read hesitantly from the paper in front of me. It was a nippy sort of day, sun shining sleepily lost amidst soft clouds, birds chirping and grass bending over reproachfully a dream like backdrop to our short escape from reality.  In my peripheral vision your head lowered, intense concentration on the weed stricken path and nerves got the better of me for a moment, I muddled my well rehearsed lines. You didn’t seem to notice.
           We reached our destination the sheltered abode away from the laugher and mindless chatter of students and where unwanted eyes couldn’t see, if not for our age it could be referred to as a clubhouse. It was so much more though, with its overhung branches, the air scented with recitation of Quran and memories laced with smiles and sisterhood - this was our spiritual retreat.  I had but a few more lines to recite and the almost tangible feeling of acceptance that often comes with familiar places urged me on. As if we were the missing puzzle piece in the oh so comforting scenery. As I spoke the words they caught in the wind and whirled around us dizzily and it pushed with hope like sunshine falling softly on our backs as we turned, echoed in the trilling and as our footsteps quietened the words were locked in the very fabric of time. I was no longer afraid.
          The planets float in a rehearsed orbit so intricately designed and yet there is a moment when they meet. They don’t collide but the moon is simply in phase with the sun and there is a connection between these two bodies of floating matter.
           It was an eclipse of the heart, earth unaware, but perfectly placed and positioned it was beautiful by my own admission .You smiled. We returned. And I thought it sad how unaware the world, the sun danced with the moon and nobody even knew. Suddenly that irregularity in our day seemed to fade pointlessly; indoor heating causing my skin to tingle and the hustle and bustle of normality seemed a disappointment. I voiced my regret. Nobody knows what words have just been spoken and how the hearts have been awoken. And my companion look concerned for an instant and then her hazel eyes declared Allah knows. I nodded my head slowly as the profoundness of the statement sunk in. Content, we returned to the prayer room.

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