Eid-Al-Fitr Mubarak 2022

Another Ramadan has come and gone. A sure sign of the relentless passing of time. As always, it’s been a time of trials and tribulations. Of sincere prayers and deep reflections. A time of lucid late evenings and tired early mornings. And, as always, a time of failure and of success.

Today, on the eve of the last day of this holy month, I pray that I get to experience another opportunity to seek the ultimate benefits of my prayers together with my loved ones yet again.

May Allah accept our attempts in the month that has passed, and grant us the opportunity to improve our efforts in the future. I wish all Muslims a happy and blessed Eid al-Fitr!

Imperfect

The landscape lay before me like a painting.
If there could ever exist a perfect painting, that is.

But no human creation could possess such beauty.
Such blend of form and function.
None.

Taking it all in, I saw the final photograph in my mind’s eye.
A beautiful piece of art, able to stir in the viewers heart,
the same emotions that I felt inside me.
A frozen moment in time,
capturing forever the brilliance of the scene before me.

It pained me though, to realize that I could never make that happen.
How could I ever capture the grandness of it all?
The smell of moss in the air.
The sound of grass rippling in the water by the gentle breeze.
Then softness of the ground.

No matter how good the gear,
or how advanced the tools,
I would not succeed.
No, a photograph would be but a poor portrayal of my experience
of nature’s magnificent spectacle

Snow

Pure, fresh, pristine.
Having arrived just a few hours before,
it was waiting for us as we stood at the trailhead.
A clean white carpet draped on the forest floor,
inviting us in.

And we walked.

Hard as rock. And unforgivingly slippery.
Treacherous under a thin blanket of powder.
One misstep and we’d be on our backs.

We kept walking.

Brittle as glass.
Cracking easily under the weight of our steps like fine china.
A crisp ripping sound in the muffled forest air,
and then quiet.

We pressed on.

Soft, as the finest Egyptian cotton.
Cushioning our feet as if walking on puffs of cloud,
high above the forest floor.

We continued walking.

White turned gray and then black
as the day surrendered to dusk and then night.
Darkness descended upon us,
erasing the difference between the ground and the sky.

Like walking in nothingness,
the only sound we heard was the one of our own breathing,
and our footsteps on the black snow.

And we kept walking.

The Mountains That We Climb

In life, we all have our mountains to climb.
Our bidding is to keep going, even when times are grim.
With prayers and effort, and a firm belief.
We long for that breathtaking view from the summit.

Once there, we may realize,
little do we understand the grand scheme.
Such unexpected is life,
that it never ceases to amaze and surprise.

Ved Rondane

No seer eg atter slike Fjøll og Dalar,
som deim eg i min fyrste Ungdom saag,
og sama Vind den heite Panna ‘svalar;
og Gullet ligg paa Snjo, som fyrr det laag.
Det er eit Barnemaal, som til meg talar,
og gjer’ meg tankefull, men endaa fjaag
Med Ungdomsminni er den Tala blandad:
Det strøymer paa meg, so eg knapt kan anda.

Ja, Livet strøymer paa meg, som det strøymde,
naar under Snjo eg saag det grøne Straa.
Eg drøymer no, som fyrr eg altid drøymde,
naar slike Fjøll eg saag i Lufti blaa.
Eg gløymer Dagsens Strid, som fyrr eg gløymde,
naar eg mot Kveld af Sol eit Glimt fekk sjaa.
Eg finner vel eit Hus, som vil meg hysa,
naar Soli heim mot Notti vil meg lysa.

Alt er som fyrr, men det er meir forklaarat,
so Dagsens Ljos meg synest meire bjart.
Og det, som beit og skar meg, so det saarat,
det gjerer sjølve Skuggen mindre svart;
sjølv det, som til at synda tidt meg daarat,
sjølv det gjer’ harde Fjøllet mindre hardt.
Forsonad’ koma atter gamle Tankar:
det sama Hjarta er, som eldre bankar.

Og kver ein Stein eg som ein Kjenning finner,
for slik var den, eg flaug ikring som Gut.
Som det var Kjæmpur spyr eg, kven som vinner
af den og denne andre haage Nut.
Alt minner meg; det minner, og det minner,
til Soli ned i Snjoen sloknar ut.
Og inn i siste Svevn meg eigong huggar
dei gamle Minni og dei gamle Skuggar.

Written by Aasmund Olavsson Vinje in 1860

When You Were Loved

When every dream
has turned to dust,
and your highest hopes
no longer soar.

When places you
once yearned to see,
grow further away
on distant shores.

When every night
you close your eyes,
and long inside
for something more.

Remember this
and only this,
if nothing else
you can recall—

There was a life
a girl once led,
where you were loved
the most of all.

– Text from “When”,  in Lullabies, by Lang Leav

Sunday Blues

The last time I visited this place, was fourteen years ago, almost to the date. Standing here by the edge of the river again, nothing seems to have changed. The trees, the rocks, the water, even the shrubs, they all look the same. The sound of running water and the wind rustling the leaves. The chill of the autumn air on a clear Sunday afternoon. The spruces standing guard along the far side of the river. It all seems exactly how it was, all those years ago, just like yesterday.

Fourteen long years of my life. So much has happened, and so many things have changed. Relocations domestic and abroad, children growing up, me getting older. Sadness, happiness, and sadness. High ambitions, hard work, and lucky accomplishments. Battles fought and victories celebrated. Disappointments small and big. Contentment, and realizations of the realities of life. Some people leaving, some entering, and then leaving again. Increasing distances between hearts as well as minds. Long awaited hellos, and sad goodbyes across vast oceans and layers upon layers of space and time.

It is strange, almost unreal, to think that fourteen years have passed. For me, it feels like a lifetime. For the river, it must be like the time it takes a tear to roll down a cheek. For the wind, a whisper in its ear. The trees have grown older, but all these years are but a short moment in their lifetime of never ending cycles of the seasons. For the rocks, I am not sure it would even register on their clock, as it must be a speck of time in their eternal life among the stars.

Standing by the water, reflecting, contemplating the passing of time, I realize that life will move on, and continue to change. It is inevitable. A fact. Until that last big change. Until then, it seems, I will keep my Sunday blues.

%d bloggers like this: