My Beloved Daughter….

My two elder children celebrate what we now call ‘milestone’ birthdays this year…my lovely daughter today! A very dear fellow blogger, after reading the post dedicated to my son’s milestone celebration, asked what constitutes a ‘milestone’ age….a very valid and relevant question in this age of quantifying days, events and emotions into Hallmark occasions…often relegating to the back burner the true essence of such celebrations…

For a mother, birthdays are special days of the heart…purely because looking out from the eyes and heart of a mother, whilst Traveling down memory lane…every child of hers’ birthday is a ‘milestone’ celebration! A celebration of awe…honor…joy…fun…comfort…strength…support…care…pride…consideration…above all, Love! A celebration of the varied and rich tapestry of life and living…of rich and joy filled moments shared together…culminating in a day such as this…as an appreciation of the fullness of human happiness in the security of our love! The journey of motherhood, with all it’s ups and downs…it’s highs and lows…the magic…the angst…the fun…the fears…the love…the laughter…all comes together with the peace of looking out and seeing them exactly where they are supposed to be…firmly ensconced in the space they have carved out for themselves! This is the ultimate joy and pride…the humility and thankfulness…yes…birthdays are poignant reminders of this…milestone birthdays perhaps a little more…

My daughter…my eldest…celebrates one such milestone age today…blessedly happy in the circle of love of her parents and  siblings…her own beautiful family….her extended family and her family of friends! In my  mind’s eye I can still vividly picture my serious little girl…she who has now blossomed into a  young woman of substance…her gentle vulnerability, humaneness and compassion being the cornerstone of this beauty, strength and independence…surrounded by the Good Lord’s blessings and grace…her gentle and winning ways…the strength and support of a loving life partner…understanding and giving due deference and balance to the blessings and power of the Divine has all helped her on this journey of hers…all of this whilst keeping pace with her own young ones on the threshold of adulthood…doing it all with an ease, energy and grace that leaves me in awe…

The pride at seeing you fulfill all your roles to such loving excellence makes my heart sing Saamia! This comes with the prayer that God draw you near Him…richly bless you always…and shelter you at all times in His loving care…help you conquer the many horizons still out there…live your dreams and achieve all your milestones and more! With a special prayer that your beautiful self and smile will continue to bring love and sunshine to all who love and surround you…and help radiate your life always with it’s unaffected goodness and love…amen!

Happy Birthday Saamia…

Ramadan…

This last month seems to have have flown by and I realize that I have not written at all! The reason for this disappearance from the blogosphere is due in the most part to the fact that it has been the blessed month of Ramadan! Ramadan is celebrated across the world by 1.5 billion muslims…it is now universally acknowledged…accepted and respected as a month that is held in great awe, reverence and deference across the Muslim world…for many of us, it is a month of going underground as it were, in the search and effort for more understanding in our own personal and ongoing spiritual journeys!

This month is observed, celebrated and followed with due deference and reference to Quranic teachings…colored by cultural and social norms and practices depending on your geographical position. The outer form of this month is a universal one…the abstinence! The inner one with an emphasis on ‘more’ in terms of prayer…behavior…seeking guidance…mercy…charity, both of deed and kind…has it’s own individual need, hunger and pace! The prayer here is that the significance and blessings of this blessed and glorious month will help color our lives in a more definitive…compassionate…ethical…moral…virtuous…just and fair manner…above all, that this will be in a positive and progressive curve after experiencing each passing month of Ramadan in our lives!

The end of this holy month is celebrated with great gusto and festivities across the Muslim world…this sense of celebration comes from a feeling of praise and glory of the Good Lord and His blessings upon us…which are manifested in love and brotherhood of family and friends celebrated over three days…a time of much celebratory joy, happiness, gluttony and thanks!

It is also my lovely daughter’s birthday today…and so this comes with additional thanks and gratitude to the Lord for this special blessing as part of His countless and unending gifts of grace and generosity! With the prayer that her beautiful smile will continue to bring love and sunshine to all who love and surround her…and help radiate her life always with it’s unaffected goodness and love…amen!

A summer extravaganza….

I have been holidaying for the last two months…spending time with a beloved daughter…family…and friends! It has been a ride of much joy…fun…laughter…love…socializing…relaxation…contentment…pampering…inner peace…the Good lord be praised! Time takes on different dimensions and forms on extended holidays in distant and varied parts of the world…each place leaving its own indelible imprint of time spent there…with the last leg of this extravaganza still waiting in the wings…

The pace of life on holiday in the comfort of a great home in ‘suburbia’ has it’s own particular character…it is almost indolent and decadent in it’s slow adagio rhythm…quite unlike any big city pace…days seem to slide into weeks almost effortlessly and unbeknownst to the self…this affords occasion for forced reflection and introspection at many levels…with added and welcome opportunities for deeper personal connections…as well as a gathering of oneself, at a pace that is now not quite so readily on tap in our rushed and hectic lives…this is eased and assisted by a continuous flow of love, spoiling and pampering…

A spontaneous trip to a more energetic metropolis added spice to this heady and indulgent banquet. The city on the Bay, San Francisco, exudes an energy and exuberance that is particular to it’s own unique character…the synergy is palpable and exciting…quickening your senses only to be overwhelmed by the natural beauty and lay of the terrain which is quite awe inspiring! Another much planned and finally executed trip, to meet family in another beautiful part of the country was all it was expected to be…a frantic catching up of the years that have gone by…coupled with the most loving hospitality and care….a rushed and hectic trip in a slow and relaxed milieu…

Through it all…the joy of catching up and spending time with loved ones and old friends…added to which was a joyful experience of easing into the beginning of a new friendship…an unexpected meeting taking root in shared and  common backgrounds and experiences…above all, the solicitous care and attention of a loving daughter and family…time seems to have flown by on wings of love…another wonderful chapter in the chronicles of a glorious memory making summer with dear ones…   
  

The dots that connect…

My granddaughter read my last post and said with a reluctant air of disappointment…but it is mostly about mum! Children have this precious gift of saying it like it is…not hiding their feelings…no camouflaging…no masking…which is a refreshing…upfront…laying it on the line…an oft much needed breath of fresh air in this world of ours, when we often say one thing…mean another…posture…whilst inwardly flinching…lay it on thickly…well aware of the hypocrisy of it all…

Yes…being in my daughter’s home does beam the focus more on her…my first born…but what I have to get my very dear first born grandchild to understand is…that every relationship has it’s own special place…and the emphasis…focus…accent on any one, does not in the least take away from the other! This does however, more often than not, need the experience of age and years to fully comprehend…letting this understanding and realization wash over you without leaving any residue of an unintentional slight!

Spending time with my grandchildren is a blessing…a gift that I feel strongly about. Physical distances have put us in parts of the world that does not always give me the opportunity or chance to be more of a part of their world and I feel I have lost out on having been part of the process of their growing and formative years…our changed and changing lifestyles…relocations to different climes and lands…just pure and simply more insular and distant homesteads…have led to these changed and evolving relationships…that deprive and divest us all, of the love…care…interaction…time…happiness and dare I say…wisdom…that elders of families have imparted over the years…in more communal type of family environments…

The relationship with grandparents is a very special bond…those of us who have had the privilege and good fortune to have been closely favored by this bond…understand that we have been fortunate and blessed…and so this time that I have together with my grandchildren has to be used optimally…snatching every moment together in the very rushed and incredibly busy work schedule children these days are wont to have…making sure they understand and believe their all-important place in a grandparent’s heart and life…to make them totally secure in the knowledge of their place in the circle of life and love, one I believe is further boosted and supported by the fact that they are truly…the dots that connect one generation to another…

A favorite passage from the Bible for A precious Granddaughter

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Dallas…

Being lovingly and comfortably ensconced in the warmth and love of a dear daughter’s home…seeing her so lovely in her radiance of beauty, love, strength and independence is truly…a blessing par excellence…to then be surrounded by the love…joy…laughter and rambunctious abandon of a home filled with three young grandchildren and the gentle and caring attention of a son-in-law…is even more so…

Since I travel so much, home, is often in many places and continents…but what defines it more than anything else, is knowing that ‘home’ is where you all realize what truly matters…where we love is home…where we cherish our human connections is home….where family is not an important thing, it is everything, is home…being bound by common threads of history…experiences…memories…even prejudices, is home! Motherhood seems to carry a part of ‘home’ with it as it were…haunting moments of motherhood is hearing your own words come out of your daughter’s mouth…echoes of my Mother’s voice and deeds reflected in this third and even fourth generation of women…this is movingly and comfortingly familiar…the circle of life complete…

In lands, ours by adoption…rather than by birth…the family of friends is a power to be reckoned with and is most comforting and reassuring. Being surrounded by such graciousness and affection is heartwarming and makes the physical distances we live with so much easier to accept! To be at home wherever I find myself…in a safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned…with respect for our connective tissues…treasuring the love and joys we receive…these are truly the power and manifestations of God’s grace…and I can say once again, with much thankfulness…truly, my cup runneth over…

Ask…and you shall receive…

Sometimes it is the most inconsequential…trivial…unimportant things that bring home, this basic tenet of faith, with a bang…I feel strongly that asking for…more…with all that has been bestowed upon me so graciously and munificently may be a bit greedy…but there is no denying this basic tenet of belief systems across the board…

It is also when this grace is manifested voluntarily…repeatedly…graciously…that the ‘asking’ gives one room to ponder whilst acknowledging His grace. The ‘receiving’ is so random…regular…across the board…be it a last minute preferred seat allocation on an air journey…a shoe size for that shoe you must have…finding the perfect present for the loved one who has everything…a dining reservation opening up at that impossible to-get-restaurant…temperate weather for al-fresco entertainment…that unexpected but desired visit,call…love and friendships that make the heart sing…sleep in times of stress…the son,daughter,nephew,niece getting into the university,course,job they were wanting…an urgent dispensation regarding the health of near and dear ones…solace in the comfort zone of family…prayer for length of days for your near and dear…the list is wide ranging and stretches from the trivial to the life changing and is endless…spanning a life and…a life time…

When it is all given readily….magnanimously…repeatedly…we often think…we should have asked for something bigger…something more important…just…more…forgetting that at that point of time, that was obviously what was the most important and needed…which brings home the sad fact that we are very often ungrateful and demonstrate a real lack of grace and humility in the ‘asking’ and the ‘receiving’…

Travelling down memory lane ….

It is my daughter’s Birthday today…my eldest…my first born! As I travel down memory lane…the years seem to have flown by…where did they go? My father , a font of wisdom, always said that the best of times were when we said lines such as these…where did the time go…it seems only yesterday…I don’t believe how fast time has flown…these are times of blessings…of ease…of often unrecognized peace! We tend to carelessly call them by different names…routine…rut…often not quite appreciating the quiet peace & calm of the routine!

It is only when this seemingly dull routine is turned upside down that we understand the ease of this time. Troubled, chaotic complicated times are when we crave and appreciate the order and regularity of the routine…a comfort zone we tend to be remiss and negligent about. As I look back once again today, at the time that has by the Good Lord’s Grace flown by…and my daughter’s first born now towers over both of us…there is so very much to be thankful about …

Where does one begin this endless stream of thanks…for the wonder of your first born…the joy, laughter, love of seeing them grow…the pride of their successes…the comfort of their amazing grace and humanity…the peace at seeing their lives filled with joy and happiness…the circle of life being so beautifully complete…