Now that spring is upon us, it started me thinking about the beach. I love the ocean. Like me, lots of people get that back-to-the-peaceful-womb feeling when looking at the ocean. As I thought about the ocean, I realized I saw it as having a very strong feminine energy. She is like our distant relative. I mean, we are mostly water and when we cry it’s salty, when we sweat it’s salty, and we both (ocean and human) are alive, and we are both Muslims (in the sense of submission to Allah), so we are connected.
Allah says that there is nothing Allah did NOT create from water; I think this water connection is what so many of us feel when we are at the foot of the ocean. We feel closeness to Allah because we are in our element, or better said, we are in a space so close to something that shares the same chemical elements as us perhaps. The earth is one big organism within which we all play a part, though we think we are completely independent. Khalil Gibran has a quote that says something like if we love, our love neither comes from us nor belongs to us; if we are happy, our happiness is not in us, but in life itself; if we feel pain, our pain is not in our wounds, but in all of nature. I believe this. If we are still enough and just tune into that faculty beyond the most recognized, we can also feel it.
Allah says that not a leaf doth turn or fall without Allah’s knowledge, and I think that also does not turn without us feeling it at some point and in some way. It made me think of those beautiful Liberty Mutual commercials where one good deed continues to be paid forward. The thought made my eyes drizzle a bit because it so beautiful and so accurately reflected how we are all connected and how one person’s actions cause an action halfway across the world, tens or hundreds or even thousands of actions later. Suddenly, my thoughts centered on the lessons the trees can teach us.
Some trees are more pleasing to the eye than others, but I love them all the same. I admire them for their strength of character. Trees are not stubborn, refusing to yield. They are not arrogant, refusing to be the object of the wind’s subject. The tree’s strength is in the solidity of its foundation, that trunk rooted in Allah-inspired faith and obedience. The tree can sway left, right, forward and backward according to the wind, but it does not allow itself to be uprooted so easily. The tree is not so weak that the injuring of a branch or the falling of its leaves render it useless or too damaged physiologically or egotistically to continue to grow after a hardship faced. Not only do the trees inform our vision of the seasons, or provide us shelter from the sun or the perfect place to etch our first love into their backs, but the tree has lessons to teach us. If we just sit silently and lonely for a while, observing the tree in her wind dance and in her tranquility, we may learn lessons in patience, steadfastness, humility, flexibility, conviction, and ultimately, complete and total trust in and obedience to Allah and Allah’s Power.
Lastly, my thoughts careened to the following: Wouldn’t it be amazing if we had the vision to capture the wind in our sights? Kind of how we can see waves in the ocean; it would be neat to see air’s waves crashing around and causing ripples around leaves and wind chimes. If the wind held colors visible to the naked eye, it would be the most marvelous display of beauty. I mean I love rainbows and those are beautiful, but rainbowed wind would be CRAZY COOL. Happy spring!
Jameelah X. Medina, Ph.D., is an educator, author, and orator. Her latest book, ABCs of Living a Good Life: 26 Things I’ve Learned along the Way, is available for free on her website:www.jameelahmedina.com. She is also the owner and operator of Dr. J’s Apothecary where she makes all-natural products for health and wellness.