Days of Remembering

These days are days of remembering. As I work each night on my Yemeni Journey book, it seems impossible to write my past without living it again, at least a little. At least feel the sting of tears behind closed lids as I say goodbye to my father, sisters, and brother, some of them for the last time. At least feel the rapid beat of my heart like the wings of a caged bird against my ribcage as I crouch in the cold reception area of the Sana’a airport, wondering if we will be allowed in, or not. At least feel the exultation brought upon by a chorus of adhaans in the predawn darkness in a strange land, knowing that home lay with me, in me, now. At least taste the triumph of shared conversation in a language I was not born with, a connection, finally, made. At...

Mom’s Brownies

I don’t remember a time when my mother wasn’t ill. I know in my head that she once was pain-free, moved easily, laughed with the careless abandon of a child. In my memory, though, she is always careful. Careful in the way she held her head, shoulders tense, as though expecting the pain to hit at any time. Careful in the way she walked, placing her feet gingerly to the ground, afraid of falling and ripping her tender, paper-like skin. Careful in the way she spoke, telling my sister, “If I told people how I really felt, they would never ask again.” The lupus struck her, and struck her hard, but she kept on going, largely, I suspect, for us. I started taking over whatever tasks I could for her when I was still a little girl. I remember doing...

Count of Three

The siege of Damaaj has entered its fifty-fourth day. Three people were injured yesterday, one seriously. According to Shaakir McGill: “Medical Report by Dr. Ahmed Shabaam Al-Waadee’ of Dammaj hospital 155 killed (may Allah accept them as martyrs) 139 missing (may Allah accept them as martyrs and facilitate their burial Ameen) 406 wounded 115 cases of severe dehydration and malnutrition of children under 5 from the 15th of Nov until the 24th 47 wounded from seniors, women and children 23 killed from seniors, women and children 67 cases of severe lung inflammation from Nov 15th until the 24th in need of a hospital May Allah heal you Dammaj and accept your dead as Martyrs Ameen.” I wrote this this morning for Mujaahid, who, as always, is in my heart...

I Hear Your Voice

I haven’t forgotten the sound of your voice any more than I have forgotten the sound of my mother’s heartbeat when I rested my head against her chest during cold Wisconsin nights. I haven’t forgotten the sound of your voice any more than I have forgotten the sound of the wind shuffling its feet through kaleidoscope colored leaves in the Kickapoo Valley. I haven’t forgotten the sound of your voice any more than I have forgotten the sound of my breath exhaled in cold clouds of wishes half-formed. “Assalamu Aleikum. Ummi? Is that you? Assalamu Aleikum?” Yes, it’s me, it’s me here listening and waiting, thinking and planning, hoping and striving. Yes, it’s me, still holding you as close as ever I did those hours spent each...

Cocooning at Wide Earth

Wide Earth is all about sustainable living, family time, homeschooling, gardening, cooking- in general, in making home and community places of light, love, and learning. Alhamdulillah, we are back to homeschooling most of the children after a brief sojourn into the land of outside schooling. With the coming of Autumn, the evenings are getting cooler and cozier, and our family time is reflecting that. Stop by here and read the children’s thoughts on Fall, and share your Autumn dreams, homeschooling thoughts, or ideas on...

Hand Woven

Been thinking a lot about my mother lately, hard to believe she’s been gone so many years. It seems like yesterday, last week, a month ago at most I midnight called her knowing she would be awake, playing solitaire at the kitchen table we spent so many hours eating, laughing, talking around. Can it really be nineteen years since I last heard her voice, me truly still a child despite having a child of my own, thinking she would be there for me forever- no not forever, but for a very long time and then- she wasn’t. In a split second lives change, people come and go, stand tall and fold, circumstances turn upside down so you can hardly recognize them anymore except maybe with the feeling of a vision almost grasped but not quite, deja vu but really, when...

Gifted

Alhamdulillah, in the last two weeks I have received gifts in the mail from students. Mash’Allaah, it was beautiful to have that real connection made, the step beyond the internet acquaintance, to see the actual handwriting instead of typed words across a screen. Truly, as the Prophet, may Allaah’s praise and salutations be upon him, said, “The giving of gifts unites the hearts.” BarakAllaahufeekunna to all of my students, past and present, may Allaah guide us, increase us in knowledge and action, and make us from amongst the successful. So here we listen to our hearts sing celebrate life goodness and light cherishing gifts given freely out of the blue a package no return address a book the cover brings back cold Damaaj mornings hurrying to...