It is only when I sit at the Lake and see the serenity of the water so contradictory to the turmoil within me and hear the breeze moving through he trees, do I realize that we are mere mortals…..even compared to our surroundings.
We laugh, we cry and we desecrate the earth heedlessly and yet….the wind, the earth, the water outlasts us by years if not centuries.
I am at Lake Lick Fork………….a place where we have come so many times. It is where we have laughed, cried, and listened to the memoirs of my mother. The wind still stirs as it did with the whizzing of the Frisbee, and the memory of the characteristic laugh of my son is embedded in the sound waves of this beautiful place. We have returned again and again, each time making new memories.
So many of us who once came here have returned to dust. My mother and my son……..of the closest to me, others have left and moved away. Yet the serenity of the lake is untouched by the changes in our lives, it still ripples to the touch of the wind, warms to the light of the sun and reflects the sentinel trees in blazing summer and naked winter.
The lake, used in multitudinous ways, remains serene in the face of all use and abuse and reminds me of the characteristic of ‘sabr’, a quality that I am struggling to attain. Looking at the lake it serenity or ‘sabr’ seems effortless in face of all the change.
Change is one thing guaranteed in this world, everything and everyone changes, except Allah Subhanawataala, He is the constant in this universe, has been, will be, unchanged and unchangeable. For in Him is the only constancy.
I see trees across the lake. Every fall the leaves turn golden, fall and are absorbed into the ground. Every spring those very trees that lost everything on their branches turn green bringing out young delicate shoots.
It is this joyful exuberance for Allah’s naimah hidden in each of his creation that produces the green again and again after everything has died…….that is what I am looking for…… so far unsuccessfully.
Three important branches have fallen from my tree (my mother, my brother and my son) and I find myself unbalanced….un- exuberant, and unable to bring the spring shoots out of the remaining unbalanced tree that remains behind.
I am told that I must live in Dunya as if I am a traveler passing through, not make attachments, and avoid distractions, and keep focused on my Akhirah, my final destination. Not to partake too much in the joys of living as they are transient.
However when I look at nature as it stands in front of me in all its glory, in life and in death, it seems never to tire of celebrating life.
It does so year after year tirelessly, with exuberance and gratefulness, with flowers in the spring, lush greenery in the summer and deep oranges and yellows in the fall.
It continues the celebration of life, knowing full well all the time, that the leaves will fall, the branches will break and winter will take its full toll of the standing trees.
Yet they continue to respect and rejuvenate the cycle of life celebrating each change of state…………………why can’t I?