Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|This Summer Night|
|08/22/00 at 04:14:09|
I remember sitting in that masjid classroom in the summer time, dust motes swirling in the still air as sunlight poured through the windows. All of us fidgeting, trying to listen to our teacher and not hear the birds chirping outside, the cars passing by on the street. Trying so hard to be good and pay attention, but the windows were open and the air outside was so sweet, and it was so close to break time, and all I could think about was going out there breathing in the air, letting the sun touch my face, running and falling and playing in the grass. Finally the teacher has mercy on us and granted us break. We run, get our two cookies, and rush back up the stairs and out the door. I remember shoving the door open, filling my lungs with that air for the first time, letting my eyes adjust to the bright sun over head, as kids ran and played and laughed. I remember feeling the sun seep into my skin, my bones, and how impossibly happy it made me. I remember sitting on the masjid steps, watching the clouds in the blue sky overhead, not thinking about anything more momentous than if I did the questions at the end of the chapter that our teacher would collect for next class.
I remember how then we learned and laughed and played together with the innocence and purity of heart that only children have. How on Friday nights we would all try to catch fireflies that danced by the woods. Looking back now, I'm amazed by the power of our imaginations. We spent so much time those nights catching these little lights gently in the palms of our hands, trying to decipher their secret codes. It was a game, and the first one to figure out their firefly's code was supposed to win. There was no prize, no way to verify the truth of the firefly's supposed statement, no way to prevent cheating. But the game worked for us then, when we were young and competition had no undertones of desperation.
We were just children, our hearts light, our minds open, our consciences clear. Whose smiles and tears and hurt and hopes came and went so easily. Now, if I were to meet the men and women those children became, everything would be different. We'd gossip and talk about marriage, criticize and make small talk, and we'd all smile at each other while our gazes remain sharp and measuring.
But those days, none of us knew what the future would hold. We were just children that didn't know that fireflies gleamed because they were searching for mates. We were just children that wanted to stay and play for as long as we could.
Now, what seems like centuries later, I sit and listen to the stillness of the night, the sky overhead black and deep. There are no stars, no moon, and I can't help but remember those days that seem so sweet. It's crazy how everything can change over the years. How you can remain in the same place but everything around you is completely altered.
It takes me so long to understand what I learn, to have it seep in. But when it does, the beauty of Islam keeps reaffirming itself in my mind, like a tapestry with weave upon weave. We were born pure, and our struggle is to return to that state of purity. I remember the freedom of being without this weight of sin and wrong action, my heart as light as the summer air I breathed in when I was a child. I pray to Allah that I return to Him in such a state of purity.
|Re: This Summer Night|
|08/22/00 at 09:43:07|
|Asalaam alaikum wrt wb,|
Very nice, well written. Unfortunately I've never come across any fireflies. For me it was hitting a baseball, shooting a basket, or playing volleyball. Playing those games just bring back memories. :)
|Re: This Summer Night|
|08/22/00 at 11:37:32|
mashaAllah, very well written, brought back many a memory, which is a sign of a good writer, i think...
you know, fewer kids today have the opportunity to really revel in the outdoors, the creation of Allah, than even our generation and earlier ones. that has such a huge impact on ppl, i can't even imagine not having climbed trees or swum in creeks or caught tadpoles or played hide & seek in the dark with the fireflies or watched a seed grow as a child...today, too many kids grow up with man-made technology as their toys...computers, video games, the TV set, other techno toys i have never heard of...call me out of step, but i wouldn't dismiss the idea of bringing up my future children in rural areas or the "3rd world", insha'Allah...there are important elements there that are missing in urban areas (unfortunately, some of these areas r quickly "catching up" to the "developed world"...there is a definite agenda to make certain "values" universal).
Anyways, Allah knows best, but too many of us, even as adults, remain in boxes (our homes), fed misinformation (tv/radio), and forget that things of true value can't be bought or sold...summertime is definitely a nostalgic time, come to think of it, of a time of innocence...that seems to be disappearing at a much quicker rate these days...a'udubillah.
|Re: This Summer Night|
|09/02/00 at 22:49:16|
I really enjoyed your writing. It really had me reminiscing about my childhood. It is true of the innocence. Back then there were most definitely no worries of the future or past. The only thing that mattered was what was going on in your life right then and there. And what you're making of it at that moment. Excellent, se7en.
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