Relief and Solace

As my town survived the onslaught of severe thunderstorms, it is slowly is regaining electricity and clearing debris from many fallen and broken trees, suffered from heat stress due to a string of 90 plus degree days and drought. We count our blessings that no one in our area lost life or suffered damage to their home. Our electricity was knocked out for 13 hours; and mercifully, as we struggled to sleep amidst sticky, sweaty conditions without air conditioning, the relief came about 12:30 a.m. Seeing the bright side, we noted that all the neighbors came out to check on each other—sometimes we only see each other when scurrying from house door to car door—and we all had our trees pruned and received the attention of the news cameras.

In this scene, I received news that a dear friend is facing the breach between life and death from an autoimmune malady. At first reading of it, I shed some tears because of the immensity of it. Then a memory came to mind of when the prophet, Mohammed, told his daughter, Fatima, that he was going to die that night. At first she cried; then he whispered something in her ear that made her laugh. He told her that she was to be the first among of the family to join him.   Recollection of this story gave me solace, and a feeling that everything will be okay. I keep thinking about it, and chose surah Al-Rahman as I took my morning walk today. Somehow everything is unfolding as is meant to be, and I sincerely hope my friend receives each milestone with patience and fortitude.

In a way, we never die; as the passing from one reality to another is continuous. This I know from being with my mother at her time. She taught me even how to die, with calmness, faith, and hope. We just can’t see the other side, but we do sense the continuity, at least those do who have been honest and mindful of Creation and our place within it. Nature is the greatest healer in these moments. Our respective place in the history of creation takes on its due proportion when we admire the miraculous balance and intelligence in nature’s design, patterns, and obedience to the Will of the One who oversees all large and small among the universes. While our bodies return to the Earth, our souls return to our Maker, and it is as natural as the sun rising and setting each day. Knowing that the time is approaching, forces us to examine our priorities and choices in life, and that is a favor when we are given the gift of Time to do this analysis and preparation. A most generous and gracious favor it is really.

The cycling of seasons bear witness that we are part of that Nature too, and so we give our best to each day. Savor the joys, bear the difficulties, and prepare to go Home…one day. It’s going to be okay.

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