There is nothing scarier and nothing more gratifying than having a whole day on the island with no obligations and no schedules.
What does that mean? It means that if you become desperate for company and cannot stand your own company without all the abovementioned accoutrements then you obviously do not like the company of your Nafs.
So what is one to do?
The first shock is to realize what type of Nafs you have because in solitude, when you are alone, it demands attention and you can assess the character of your Nafs from the kind of attention it demands and hankers for. Is it food (Bahemi) acquisition (predatory) desire for mischief making (Shaitaani), to put it simplistically.
If you rush to create background noise around you, it is a sign that you want to drown the company of your Nafs and that you do not like it.
This is a good sign? How you may ask?
It is the first step to purifying your heart so that all your Nafs would wants is the company of Allah making it an angelic Nafs. Such a Nafs gets us closer to Allah.
You may then find your desires, wants, actions and thoughts tuned into the gracious beauty of Allah all around you without drowning it with fake sounds (music) and fake scenery (TV).
You listen to the music of the waves, the birds and the slithering reptiles in the grass.
When you bike through the paths overhung with Spanish moss, with nothing but the creak of the wheel of your rusty bike, you see the dance of the shadows of the trees and branches that change with the passage of a cloud changing the crispness of the dancing shadows to something nebulous.
You suddenly see a deer in front of you and you stop the bike, she turns with grace and looks at you with gazelle eyes assessing you and then takes a left turn, you follow on foot and between the branches of a tree she looks at you while her young one munches on the freshly planted flower garden of a beach home.
You get lost………..and the meandering paths lead you from the canopy of trees out into the path of golf course with its scintillating greens with people dressed up to play something to keep them outdoors.
One more turn and you are at the straw market, once bustling it seems like a ghost market, and the Inn beyond is shuttered. Nothing lasts forever. You buy some ice cream to appease the growling stomach that is not used to so much bike riding………..and you walk to the beach.
Out there sitting on a chair looking at the magnificence of the ocean and thinking of the one who designed it all……..the phone rings your accountant is calling…….it is tax time.
You go back get your bike and then as the Irish blessing says the wind is on your back and the sun is not in your eyes.
Kites fly high……….one looks like a sperm trying to hit the ovum shaped cloud and keeps missing. You find birds with black hats and orange beaks with an attitude. You find others with magenta beaks who find the birds with an attitude, a pain.
There is writing on the sand that says……….HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Oops there is someone else’s name under it not mine, nevertheless I will claim it for now from my Creator:)
Two little boys play in the sand………. And I turn to look at the sparkling ocean and realize that the sun is traveling west with the speed of a marathon runner, and I have flowers to plant.
The reds and pink and purple are ready but the earth is not, it is full of criss cross roots from other bushes. I try to talk to them to cooperate with sharing the nutrition and finally they are in all in the soil, with a prayer that they flourish. The island can be harsh on flowers, only the tough ones survive.
The sun swirls pink and blue paint on the clouds and subtly on the sand, bikers rush home to dinner and I look up and in the blush of sunset I see the crescent moon peeking like a virgin bride waiting to come out.
I leave my unread book and go in to prepare for Maghrib Salah, thankful to Allah and all those who made this gift possible.