When I aligned myself to you, you shone through me. And when I turned away, the favours of this world dimmed.
Amongst the ruins, I picked up my broken pieces.To my dismay, they would not fit. Only to realize you wanted to make me in a different mould.
Yesterday, I took a beautiful walk through my city. As my two years in England quickly comes to an end, I can’t help but feel nostalgic.
I can walk through the University’s empty library and empty halls and see everyone I hold dear walk right past me as if it’s a normal school day. I can remember almost every detail of how I met every person I care about. Having graduated from University before, I know that this city and its streets will forever hold the memories of the beautiful people I have had the honour to meet and nothing will replace those memories. There is some solace in knowing that I have taken moments over these two years to truly reflect and be grateful for the extraordinary people who have crossed my path and have tried to live in the moment as much as I can.
Saying goodbye is always bittersweet. While there is separation pain , it is only at goodbye that you truly appreciate everything that that person is to you and the role they has played in your life. As they speak, their voices are sometimes drowned out by your conscious attempt to take in everything about them, their smile, their laugh, their expressions and your mind does a semi-flashback on all the memories you’ve had together. There is great relief in knowing that with the world becoming smaller , there is a high probability of meeting them again. However, there is also truth in knowing that THIS time will never come back. These memories, and this experience, will forever be etched into this era of my life.
It is human nature to look back and romanticize and yet my aim is to TRULY live in these last moments of this era. To romanticize about it while being in it because it is too often that we let the moments of our life pass through our fingers, not appreciating their beauty then but only later.
It is in gratitude and realizing how blessed we are that we can truly take in how beautiful everything is. Even in saying goodbye, there is beauty, because you had something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
As I watched the sky turn orange yesterday evening when the sun started to set, quite a huge part of me wanted to leap up, and stop it from setting. Another day just gone. Time. My scrambling for time feels like I’m trying to cling to water, only to see it escape from my every tiny gap in my very tight grip.
However, as sunrise of the next day approaches, I watch the skies. The sun has not surfaced yet but it has started to light up the sky surrounding its rising and within minutes, it feels like the entire sky has been lit up with its powerful rays.
It is in watching this process that I realize the sign that has been given to us, fellow mortals. That to our finite eye, or our finite minds, it seems like magnanimous entities or grand characters go away. But, in reality, it is our limitation in being able to be outside of time and space that truly restricts our vision. For the lover of the moon, the long summer days may feel endless; and for the lover of the sun, the lengthy winter nights are never-ending. In those moments of darkness, when the sun has just set and you stare at the dark blue skies where the sun once shone, it is difficult to think of the time when it will surface again, but it shall.
The trees are amazing examples. The winter seems to void the trees of all its life, its once green leaves turn lifeless and fall to the ground and turn bare. Yet, as the Spring approaches, the tree springs to life in its most beautiful of forms, and is brought back at its peak. Just as it blooms in all its beauty, the sun rises in all its brilliance and so does the beautiful crescent moon. We will meet again , in all of our beauty.
Another example is the cloudy day. It gives us the false pretence that the sun isn’t present. While the clouds do block out the visible light, the UV radiation actually becomes stronger. In the same way, visibly and physically a person may no longer be with us but their force and their energy is very much still present, if not more. A person may not be with us physically but they are very much present and it is a matter of time before the clouds go away and the sun shines once again.
These signs found in all of God’s creation are reassurance of our meeting again. It’s never goodbye, its only see you later. And for the time being, for : the sunless nights, the moonless days, the endless winters :
Rest assured. You are not alone.
“Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to be farsighted enough to trust the end result of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be shortsighted as to not able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never runs out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.” – Shams Tabrizi
“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”
– Pico Iyer
Every three weeks or so , I try to take a day trip outside of my city. Whether it is half an hour away or two hours away. I do so to gain some perspective. Being a University student in a small city is sometimes very consuming. Leaving the city always gives me a bigger picture, allows me to see that which I cannot see when I am staring right at it.
My most recent trip was to Cambridge. I thought going to a place of such prestige and checking out the University would grant me some inspiration. Ironically enough, my favourite part of the day consisted of walking through the market. I saw fresh fruits, vegetables, little creative trinkets with inspirational quotes on them and then stumbled upon a second-hand book stall. Looking through the books, I searched for something inspiring, compassionate and spiritual – my genre for quite a bit now. Mind Body Soul. Searching for inspiration, motivation , I asked the owner if he had the Alchemist. He looked for it but didn’t find it and said that it wasn’t in the section he usually kept it in. I asked him to refer me to the section. Upon reaching there, my fingers walked through the books and I spotted Eckhart Tolle’s, ” A New Earth”. A book referred to me almost two years ago which I had tried to read. But sometimes books, they don’t flow in your being, don’t sync with your consciousness until you’re really ready for them.
I just started reading the book but its resonated with me quite beautifully. It speaks of this idea of “I” and becoming consumed with our own labels. Letting our own labels of ourselves not only restrict us but restrict our understanding of the world because we put everything into such distinct boxes and label them accordingly. As I sat at lunch and drank my cup of tea, I took a minute to stop my thinking, and looked around to look at the people who surrounded me in the room. They were all people but really , they were forces within each body. A force or an energy that I would not say is restricted by age but a living energy and that room was buzzing with everyone’s different energies. Whether it was the couple who sat next to me and hardly said anything to each other, to the two elderly beautifully-dressed talkative women who sat on my right. Then and there, I was hit with the thought that I, too was a force, an energy and had started to identify with the person I had become over the past few years. That which breaks this identification with the I is generally some kind of paradigm change brought about by a sudden change in one’s life however we could dis-identify from the I once we became aware of it… I’m only in the first chapter of the book but felt this idea to be somewhat of a revelation that I wanted to share. It’s worth taking a day out once in a while to gain some perspective.
Leaving that meal I felt like a different person but realized how much I identified with the me and how we look for assurance in other people’s view of who we are and try to fit into that category of who they think we are. But there’s a realization in the fact that people change, we change. Respect how you feel. Always.