Oh how quickly the year has passed.

Mind you it does come ten days earlier than the Gregorian calendar.

It’s funny with Ramadan, I always approach it with a mixture of dread and excitement. And yet, when it arrives there’s such a blessing of peace!

It’s like no other time!

Reminds me of the days I spent on Hajj.

Despite the drama and the effort, Hajj is where I learned to really connect to God during my prayers.

I mean I thought I had connected to Him before, but nope, on Hajj it was at a completely different level, and there are many times when I’m praying that I re-feel that connection, but during the month of Ramadan, it’s so much more pronounced.

There is every reason to feel apprehensive about the month, especially this year. It started a week after the summer solstice, which is the longest day of the year, so these are just about the longest fasts we get.

It takes about 35 years to run through the cycle of the solar year, so ever 35 years this happens, that Ramadan is at its longest. So basically this is the ‘worst’ it will get.

It means myself and my family wake at 3:15 am to eat our meal of suhoor, and then start fasting around 3:55 am which is the beginning of dawn.

And it’s so cute how moments before the time to begin starts, you’ll hear the birds outside begin their dawn chirping. There are some hadith that say they pray Fajr in their own way.

Yesterday was our first fast, today is the second, and yes, yesterday was difficult.

Missed my coffee like anything! (I’m down to a cup a day.) Got a slight headache of caffeine withdrawal as a result of it.

And there were moments when the day dragged on, but you know what?

There is a LOT of joy in realizing that hey, this is as hard as it’s going to get. And alhamdu lillah, by the grace of Allah, I can survive.

Time will pass regardless. No matter how long the fasting goes, the day will pass.

We can endure it.

And just watch…the month will fly!

On another note, my son said something interesting to me the other day.

He’s the only child I still have at home.

He was referring to my husband and my lifestyle as being kind of dull.

We don’t party.

We hardly even visit people.

Mostly our kids and family.

He didn’t come out and say it but he implied that we were kind of ‘boring’.

Of course my son is young.

And looking at it from his point of view, our life would seem kind of non-eventful. I guess he doesn’t realize how super stimulating it is to go to storytelling festivals and get up on stage and try to tell stories that keep the audiences engaged.

He doesn’t see that aspect of my life.

He only sees me at home, in the aftermath.

And he doesn’t see the journey I spend, yeah, basically every day with my characters and their ups and downs, and the trials of trying to make their stories work.

I have more than enough excitement in my life, more than enough drama so that I consider home time, down time.

But still, I guess it bothered me to be considered ‘boring’ by my son, so I said to him the other day, “You know there’s a difference between ‘boring’ and ‘peaceful’. Our life isn’t boring. It’s peaceful.”

And then I explained that young people might not be able to see the difference, but when you get older, you really do appreciate it when life has no unexpected wrenches thrown into it. And you’re working towards a goal and everything is going well, on an even keel.

When you have been blessed with more than enough, and you have the self-awareness to recognize that and the wherewithal to appreciate it, it can be very peaceful and you can find comfort in that.

It was a teachable moment. One he might not fully appreciate till he gets to our age insha Allah.

Recently I was watching an appearance of Bill Maher on some show or another, and he said something absolutely ridiculous. He said it would be so much better to ban religion and allow drugs.

And I’m just old enough to remember when he actually said he believed in God.

And for a moment I could almost imagine what a life without faith must be like. It would be like living half a life.


And then last night I was watching Oprah’s Master Class (it really is worth watching! I always learn something.) and she had on Barbara Walters who I don’t personally think is the brightest bulb on the shelf but she did talk about the social barriers she faced as a woman in a world of male-dominated news, and boy could I relate. The most interesting moment was when she was talking about her time as co-anchor with Harry Reasoner who was completely hostile and condescending towards her! One night she was just about to go on when she opened up the mail and most of it was horrible and denigrating, and then she got a telegram. And the telegram was a short note that said, “Don’t let the bastards get you down.” And it was signed by John Wayne!

And I thought Wow! Yeah! That would do it!

And of course she went on to prevail.

They showed clips of her dealing with Harry Reasoner, and oh boy, could I relate! Been there, and I’m still there at times!

I’m planning on telling myself that every time it gets to be a bit overwhelming: “Don’t let the bastards get  you down!”

I know that might be a strange note to end a blog post on Ramadan with, and yet, it seems appropriate.

Ramadan is always a time of recharging for me.

It’s a time of turning my schedule topsy-turvy and focusing even more than I already do, on my work and family.

God is kind.

I have so much to be thankful for alhamdu lillah!

And fasting all day with the knowledge that there’s more than enough food to break that fast with, is a luxury that not everyone can lay claim to.

I pray for all those who are struggling. All those who are under attack. May God have mercy on them and give them relief!