Thursday, February 16

Walks & Signs

Backpack weighing down on my soul, nights I walk home, half past midnight.

I slow to a stop at the solstice of a bridge--one of the slender, silver arms that stretch over Washington Avenue that hold the old and the modern together.

I turn to my right and gaze at the lights of the downtown skyline; only the crisp, cold, winter wind surrounding everything--even the stillness under streetlights. And the burdens of snow, burning the flesh of every dying blade of grass, the numb rugs of cement aligned into sidewalks.

Perceptions internalized, the cold begins to seep in, and I begin walking the remainder of the bridge descending to the other side.

With every step towards some fleeting idea of destination, I know that it is only a matter of hours before a never before seen sunrise--the dawn of something new and unexperienced.

Other than that...

A few weeks back, while at a masjid, I watched this sister leave her toddler in order to attend to her crying infant. The toddler, who I learned today is called Humza, unzipped his mother's unattended purse and pulled out a small bottle of hand lotion. He sqeezed a button-sized drop of the (cucumber melon?) lotion into his palms. He then proceeded to smear it all over the front of his sweater.

I went and sat by him.

I just sat.

Poor kid got nervous. He didn't know what to do. He looked at me for a while--lotion still on his clothes and little hands.

He suddenly decided to offer the bottle of lotion to me. I received it, then closed the lid. I matter of factly gave the bottle back to him. He put it in his mother's purse. I handed him a napkin, and he gladly wiped off the excesses of lotion from his hands.

That was the end of our first interaction. We still hadn't spoken :)

So I saw my little buddy Humza today. He looked intently at me for about two seconds, then smiled having remembered...something (I'm still not sure if he completely recognized me, but it's possible).

During Salaatul Maghrib this evening, as the rest of the jamaa' were leaving to start the meeting I was also supposed to be attending, I realized that I still needed to pray two rakaat of Sunnah. At a moment of weakness, I contemplated whether or not I should just go with everyone and let the meeting begin or if I should stay to pray the two rakaat.

While I was still sitting on the masalla, Humza caught my attention. Standing before me, he smiled and mimicked the motions of salah. At sajda, he turned his head towards me and smiled, then returned his face to the ground.

What a beautiful sign...More beautiful than sunrise or sunset, than blossoms on cacti in the Mojave Desert, than the dancing reflections of stars and fireflies on a Louisiana bayou on a late-summer's night.

And this verse came to mind:

(~translation: "Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?")
Qur'an, 55: 13, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 45, 47, 49, 51, 53, 55, 57, 59, 61, 63, 65, 67, 69, 71, 73, 75, 77.


Current AAF: A + 9 = Me, now.

1 comment:

psychorubberduckie said...

I was bored today and decided to entertain myself by reading through random blogs. I'm glad I did. Your story of Humza, for some reason, touched me. It makes me miss my little sister. I just thought you should know.