We went on a trip to Makkah. We got to touch the Kaabah. Thats the house of God. The last time we got to do that was when we went with Ismail. Thats our oldest son; we lost him years a go. Adam, my 3 year old’s huge concern, when he saw that black square box was how does God fit in it? Why can’t he go inside and see if God actually does fit in that thing? “Ammi I want to see it”. A shape obsessed boy who has tons of boxes and carries them around with tiny little objects in them just wanted to know where God was. I think on some level his mother was wondering the same. But don’t say it out loud for it is blasphemy, is it not? I wasn’t sure how I was feeling during my circles around the big black box. That is part of the rituals we have to perform around the Kaabah. I was trying to concentrate but the kids chants of wheels on the bus and five little monkeys was making it very hard for me to turn my mind toward meditation and prayer.
Then in the midst of all that I would smell a dirty diaper.
I wanted to know that it was okay that my kids were singing while in the house of God. I wanted to feel content with the thought that even though I was teaching them words and phrases appropriate for the place and time they would repeat them a few times and go back to happily singing whatever their hearts desired.
If not singing they were jumping on us or each other talking about trucks (their latest obsession) or what sounds different animals make while pretending to be those animals.
Then we got to touch the kaabah. As I watched my older son trace the word Allah in Arabic calligraphy on the beautiful black fabric all of those fears and feeling melted away.
See, he doesn’t like to write. He specially doesn’t like to trace letters. However I watched him pickup his little finger and follow those letters along. Before that I heard them both happily sing and I watched them both happily play and talk about where Allah (God) might be. I heard them talk to each other and wonder where he lives and the things he has made. They were discussing that he has made that tiny silver ball in one of their toys that can never come out. And I realized that my approach was wrong. This is that place one can be anything one wants to be. There is no wrong way of praying or meditating here. There is no wrong song in this place.
The song of your heart and soul comes out in this place. What is inside is revealed whether you want to reveal it or not. You say it, you say it with words or you say it with your actions, but you end up saying it. I was saying it when I was reassuring my children that Allah is here and He can “fit” anywhere. I was reassuring them because I was sure myself. When I wondered where He was I wasn’t unsure of His presence in this place I was Unsure of His presence in my heart. However, Allah was never missing from within me either. I just had to look hard. I had stopped looking and searching deep enough. I had stopped because I think I thought the rituals of it all that I did every day was enough. But the connection is deeper than the mere action. That has to come from another place. When that happens your little finger automatically traces the words. The action just follows. The Heart and soul just connects. You don’t have to think about the actions. We are all Children in that place. We are our very natural selves.
I Have decided to make a Kaabah in my mind. So I can remember the feeling, remember to be a child and keep that connection open with my God and never become and adult. Well, those who know me and are reading this (which is not a lot so far) are probably chuckling. I am not much of an adult. My point is, I have learned so much from my tiny humans this trip and I am so grateful for them every day. Someday they will read this and for that day I want to say to them you two are awesome little brats!