THE SOUND OF FREEZING RAIN……..
Have you ever heard the sound of freezing rain? It is a steady tinkling till it becomes a background sound almost a whisper. You forget it while sitting in the warmth of your home until it strikes a leaf, branch or object that resists it.
The passage of time is similar to the sound of freezing rain. It is a steady march almost silent and unified such that we do not even feel it until it hits an event: a birth, a death, a separation, a loss…and then time magnifies into a larger more audible moment.
When life goes back to the daily mundane activities of daily living: earning your bread, eager to compete, spend time in front of the tube or the Internet, the sound of time and the sound of freezing rain, both recede into the background.
The consequences of the unheeded passage of time without the Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah are similar to the unheeded consequences of freezing rain. If its steady fall on the trees near your home goes unheeded eventually the branches can no longer carry the load and they drop it on your home shattering your sanctuary, your peace of mind and maybe even your loved ones.
Time is a creation of the human mind…to track events and for the spiritual hearts to remember their Creator at the change of the major segments of the day and night. When one segment closes and a new one opens bringing in unknown surprises, the faithful to Allah stand up and supplicate to him. After Salah they implore Him to fill the next segment with blessings and to forgive any infractions during the last one. The Salah sections the life of the faithful.
Freezing rain on the naked branches can become a burden and no one knows when the branch will reach its breaking point and collapse.
Grief is like the frozen icicles on the naked defenseless branches if it stays too long the branches weigh down with it eventually to breakpoint. If there is no thaw and no occasion for the branches or the grief laden heart to weep off the grief the heart and branches holding all the ice of grief on them may cave in and collapse with a crash…
The sound of freezing rain is also an incessant reminder of the passage of time where we are progressing steadily to the Day of Judgment and then a new life, which is eternal.
As the freezing rain falls steadily I hear the branches fall in the forest with a sound that is unique. First a crack then a crash that sometimes multiplies indicating that it is taking other smaller trees with it.
Thus is the grief of injustice. The oppressed continue to bear the cruelty and indignities of the big rulers that locally and remotely (drones) have the power to hurt them.
Then one day the critical mass is reached, the indignities like the frozen rain on the back of the branches makes them cave in and like a tree falling in the forest it brings down the neighboring ones with it.
Thus it was with Tunisia. Fifty years of underground prisons, torture and where human beings were kept worse than animals………..one day a fruit seller, a young man with a bachelors degree set fire to himself and brought the entire nation toppling down. The domino effect on the neighboring dictatorships was the same as in the forest of ice……… The neighboring nations one by one, Egypt, Syria and more are cracking under the ice of cruelty and injustice and falling steadily.
The oppressors propping them up on the back of the poor and helpless is like using a hairdryer to thaw the branches to save a forest.
All they have to do is witness the freezing rain and its effect on the forest.
Allah says “ Do not let the oppressors feel that I do not see their actions but I will give them their just desserts on the day when terror is put in every oppressors heart and he or she is shown their past actions” (paraphrased from the Quran)
Egypt is one of the nations falling under the weight of long years of cruelty. It can be likened to a young adolescent girl who is being raped repeatedly. Her parents (the spiritual custodians of the country) are watching and are being threatened with torture to their other children if they cry out or seek help elsewhere… and thus it is with the oppressors of this world who believe that this is the only life they have and their will be no accountability of their actions.
They do not understand that this life is only a Nano second compared to the eternal life which will begin after Allah will judge each of us and mete out justice.
If I sit inside with the heat on and windows closed to the sounds of the freezing rain It is easy to become oblivious to the steady march of the ice on the forest as it loads the branches with its weight. It becomes easy to forget the passage of time and its consequences.
Nature………..also a creation of Allah has been creaking with pain at the merciless onslaughts of man who was sent as a custodian and protector of the weak. If anyone has watched what happens to an abandoned house in the wilderness, you will know that nature claims back its territory by slowly encroaching on it as in the growth of trees and bushes. Animals and insects take over the abandoned house in the forest.
The other way Nature in anger takes back its land that has been violated is by a natural disaster. After years of abuse by the humans Nature turns on them and wipes out everything on its way, either with the hot lava of a volcano or the tidal waves of a tsunami, turning all the earthly gods of man back to nature.
Man is weak, ignorant, easily distracted and thus heedless to his responsibilities, his vulnerability and his accountability to our Creator.
The freezing rain falls and not all your strength can stop it till Allah decides to do so.
There is no way out except submission…….
A private communication:
I was so fascinated by the first few sentences of the article that I could not stop from reading the rest. Sentences like “It is a steady march almost silent and unified such that we do not even feel it until it hits an event: a birth, a death, a separation, a loss… ” bring tears into my eyes for they remind me of the passing of my father, whose 12 year memorial is on this Friday. Again I realized how “weak, ignorant, easily distracted” we are. I pray to God every morning to guide me to the right path. – Yong
It is amazing that you felt the essence of this post just as I did while writing it! Thank you for sharing your comment!
As we are getting hit by yet another snow storm….I like the way you carry the metaphor of the freezing rain into the human consciousness and the state of oppressive nations. When the load of the ice gets too heavy, the branches break and things come toppling down. And the ice keeps building….
Thank you Annette for your comment, you are a veteran of the snow but I hope this one is gentle on you!