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What We Leave Behind

Waiting. Perfecting patience. Setting goals and working towards them one baby step at a time. Looking forward, keeping trust in Allaah.

These have made up the last two months, months in which we are in a limbo between homes, out of one, but not yet in another. Walking the bridge, however precarious it may seem, between our home in Yemen and our new home here in Missouri; a bridge that we are building even as we walk, piece by precious piece.

Needed reminders of lessons hard learned in times gone by. Everything comes when the time is right, not when we feel the time is right. Each moment is precious, too precious to waste, or in a blink that child’s laugh, that rainbow tinted sky, that crystal snowflake on a limb of green, will be gone. Celebration of family, the core of beautifully rendered steel that truly defines home.  The importance of accepting a gift given, and of giving with no hope of wordly return.

myhomemypath-012Today I planted flowers in a shower of sunshine in front of what we pray, insh’Allaah, will be our new home soon. As Juwairiyah and I dug holes and planted green sprouting bulbs of yellow, purple and red that will greet  visitors to the house and hopefully bring a smile to the faces of the brothers on their way to the masjid and children on their way to school, a young mother and her children came up to chat.

“I always wanted to grow things,” she said, “but I’ve always rented, and wanted to wait until I owned a place of my own.”

“Well,” I replied. “We’ve left a trail of gardens everywhere we’ve lived, across America and Yemen.”

I thought of those gardens then. Our first garden, grown in tires  on the balcony in Boulder. The sweet little garden full of herbs and vegetables, surrounded by comfrey, apple and pear trees in Liberty. The myriad containers placed all around our rooftop in Ma’bar, with a compost bin in the corner. Each one unique, ground on which we learned lessons of life and death, hardship and ease, pain and sweet success.

Later, a young girl echoed the words of the first woman, and I told her the same, and tried to paint for her a picture of our gardens, so far apart in distance yet held together by strings of experience and growth. I saw the skepticism in her eyes, and turned to look at Juwairiyah. In her hazel eyes I saw the light of understanding, the knowledge that nothing done with sincerity and honesty is ever lost, and that a gift given is a gift, whether the person who receives it accepts it or not.

With this in mind, we continue to plant, hoping that in doing so we will be able to give, in whatever way possible, just a little something to the people who walk by our house, or who share the abundance of tomatoes and zucchini that insh’Allaah summer will bring, or who drink an herbal tea to help restore health or cement a friendship.

So many lessons to learn, and a garden is a great place to start.

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