I've even had the opportunity of surviving my first hate mail. And how poisonous it was. For the record, I thought about it for an hour in total. And decided that I am not, like the sender claims, a 'hipocrit'.
I forgot to mention. Round about the time that Atyllah spoke of her sassy, saucy sounding muse, I lost mine. She vanished. Gone! Just like that. And since then I have written very little aside from the odd poem or two – which I suspect I will look at again in time to come and be staggered by just how awful they are.
So I’m waiting – patiently for once - for her to return. She has to. She has helped me find joy even when things were lousy. She made me smile through some awful moments. She taught me how to rid myself of the ‘difficult’ stuff by putting it onto the computer's hard drive. In honour of Muse Mine who is somewhere right now, inspiring some other lucky soul, I’ve gone into the archives and found this. Was I ever really this hopeful?
A Healthy Dose of HOPE
It’s official! Spring is here!
As the once bare branches become adorned with a profusion of pastel coloured blossoms, the days gradually grow longer and warmer and a sense of intense expectancy – of wonderful things to come fills the air. I am filled with a wondrous feeling that soon the tide will turn – that miraculous things are just waiting to happen.
So what if I’m staring another birthday in the face and I’m growing (yes, say it) older, and I suspect, no wiser? So what if my already crowded house is going to have to expand to make room for one more little being and my already overflowing cupboards are going to be called upon to accommodate one more winter and summer wardrobe? So what if my bathroom is crying for a makeover and accomplishing it in time seems as likely to occur as does my summiting Everest? So what if the gloom of winter seems determined to cling to me with tenacious obstinacy and drag me back into it’s cold?
I’m more determined! Determined to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Determined to continue to hope.
Invariably there are times when the light dims and my problems seem insurmountable, I take consolation from verse 155 Chapter 2 of the noble Quraan where Allah says, “And we shall indeed test you with a little bit of fear and hunger and a reduction of wealth and souls and fruit – and give glad tidings to the patient ones. Those who, when difficulty afflicts them say – Verily to Allah do we belong and to him is our return”
So when hardship strikes, I accept it as nothing more or less than a test from my Lord. And after reading through verses 5 & 6 Chapter 94, appropriately located in the last Juz of the Quraan where Allah says, not once, but twice, “verily after one hardship comes much ease, surely after hardship comes much ease,” is it ever possible for hope not to emerge the victor?
Indeed where there is life, there is hope – hope for a change for the better. It helps when one remembers that, while Paradise has eight doors, Hell has only seven, and Allah has informed us that His mercy exceeds His wrath.
So your creditors may be beating down your door, your mother-in-law may be nothing short of impossible; your children may be demanding and stubborn; your neighbours may be mean and nosy and their dog may consider your front lawn to be the perfect shade of green for utilisation as a toilet, in the face of all this, one thing remains and that is HOPE!!
You could win a crossword grand prize, settle the debts and have enough change left over to treat yourself to that aromatherapy massage you so richly deserve. Your mother-in-law’s heart may soften, or better still she could become senile and forget who you are altogether. It isn’t inconceivable that your children could outgrow their stubbornness and learn to value your love more than the latest toy craze.
Your neighbour could get a transfer to Katmandu and once your lawn has turned and ugly brown their dog might just move to the patch of lawn two doors away, where he might just get shot, so keep the hope alive by nurturing it with abundant remembrance of Allah and prayer.
Speak to Allah like a trusted friend and make Him your counsellor, after all He does say in Chapter 50 Verse 16, “And we are closer to him (man) than his jugular vein”. Strive to shut out the clamour from without and listen to the gentle voice within- the voice that will continue to remind you of precisely who you are.
That may seem a mammoth task with your brood tearing around the house at breakneck speeds and working up a din that could drown out the roar of a bulldozer – but with a bit of perseverance it can be achieved. So no matter what your problem, remember, the solution lies within, so don’t give up the search and whatever you do ….just keep HOPING!!
This article first appeared in The Muslim Woman Magazine. It was written when I was expecting my fourth child. She is now two and a half and has just reached the potty training milestone.
How life seems to replay itself. Though it is well and truly Autumn here, I am now well into my pregnancy with baby number five. We are currently renovating another bathroom in the house we plan on calling home once and for all. I hope we will be done in time for baby. My house is in boxes stacked up against walls for now. Only this time, I’m struggling to be as hopeful. But somewhere, deep inside, I know, it can only get better.