A part of a day with my grandson……
Everyday is filled with partings, but with him each parting is poignant. When he comes to my house, parting from his father is painful as if a shirt is stuck in a bramble bush and is being torn away. Yet after the parting is over he settles and accepts the parting, turning to life, which has its distractions.
Allah provides live entertainment to both of us in the form of obstinate lizards that perch on the chair, stare you in the eye and refuse to leave. Butterflies that flutter here and there never stopping long enough to let the predators get them. The ants busy carting away the small petals that have fallen from the mums. We sweep them away and yet they come back organized in line ready to do assembly line work that has to be done today.
We walk down the steps to fill water into the watering can from the bucket and go up to the deck to water the new plants and then back down again. The sun drifts towards the west and the shadows lengthen as the sunlight loses its heat. The newly planted pansies warmed by the sun snuggle into their new bed, ready for the cold night air.
He puts his hand in the “dirt” in the bag of potting soil and looks at me expectantly, “you can bring the soil out and put it in the pot” I say. It is an awakening of the spirit to watch him feel the warm, dark soil in his hands, slightly moist, sticking to his fingers. He feels it texture as if he is fingering silk from the finest looms of China.
All the pansies that look delicate but are one of toughest flowers when it comes to ice, snow and freezing cold, are planted.
The adhan comes on from my phone.
He turns to me in urgency “Allah is calling you” when I don’t respond immediately he says “in your phone”, when I am still silent he clarifies “it is the adhan” I am still trying to figure out whether I should go pray Asr now or complete cleaning up the mess left from the planting. He tilts his head and looks at my face and says with a broad smile “its time for prayer” tinged with a baby lisp.
Yes it is ……..We go in and wash, do wudu, and then stand for salah.
As the shadows of night fall like the folds of a black abaya, we are both pensive for different reasons. He is missing his parents and wants to be with them, and has a secret sense of waiting, listening with one ear for their arrival.
I on the other hand have an impending feeling of loss, which I know I will feel when he leaves.
How many partings have I seen and experienced and yet each one is unique. I should be an expert on partings by now, many of who have been permanent, but I still feel like a novice.
The black velvet cloak of the night falls around us isolating us in a pool of light inside. The adhan calls again and we decide to pray Maghreb upstairs, since I have placed his musallah in my suitcase in anticipation for travel next week.We climb the stairs one by one to go upstairs, time stands still for us.
While I pray Maghreb, I notice that he is sitting behind me and is very quiet. I cannot fathom what he is doing till I hear the sound of a page turn. After finishing my Salah I turn around and I see him holding my mothers panjsura open in his hands and he says, “I am reading the little Quran……….. “I tell him that this “little Quran” belongs to my mommy and he says “my mommy” I say “NO my mommy who was your mommy’s nano…it is too far fetched. He sits quietly reading, I peek over the top to see if it is upside down, but it is not.
Quiet and serenity settles over both of us. The barakah of the open Quran in the hands of a child brings the angels to sit around us and sprinkle us with Sakina. We no longer think about partings……….at least for now.