I have to admit, it’s been hard to find inspiration lately. Part of it has to do with saying farewell to Ramadan. Another part of me feels like I’m waiting; waiting for a creative genius inside me to flourish, a travel expedition, or meeting a person I can connect with easily. I feel like I have been in this funk for a while. Maybe it’s because the past three years were so new and exciting: new job, marriage, daughter.
I constantly find myself asking, “What now?” The answer is puzzling. Like one of those puzzles that comes in an unidentified box and has five hundred pieces that need to be glued to a piece of cardboard. And while I’m trying to figure out the bigger picture of this puzzle, I try to at least connect the easy edges.
I sit next to Sumaya as we build a fortress out of blocks. As much as I’d like it to, it doesn’t last very long before she loses interest. I fold laundry as she simultaneously unfolds. I stand next to her while she plops down on the sidewalk examining the twigs, fallen leaves, and muddy grass. She doesn’t mind that I’m so close, but I know one day she probably will. That thought stings a little.
I oblige when she wants to nurse, knowing that we won’t have that particular connection for much longer. We go over the sounds of the animals and her lethal karate chop. On Fridays, she comes to visit me at work while we organize our study circle.
While this new chapter in life isn’t filled with the thrilling excitement of years past, there is still a quiet beauty to it, if I choose to explore it. I often wonder what beautiful patience looks like. Maybe it is this chapter in my life where I can cultivate such a trait. And while I agree that there are moments in life that can define a person, I think it is in the waiting that we have the opportunity to build ourselves in front of Allah (swt).
After all, there are so many examples of our prophets waiting. Waiting while in prison, waiting for the next revelation from Allah (swt), waiting inside the belly of a whale. Of course this waiting does not equate to idleness. Even in prison Prophet Yusuf (as) called for the worship of Allah (swt). And this waiting may even carry an extra sweetness to it. I can only imagine how relieved and gratified our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sas) felt after he received the second wahy from Allah or how, after seven years in prison, Prophet Yusuf (as) was able to safeguard Egypt from famine, reunite with his father and reconcile with his brothers.
Yes, anticipation can surely be sweet, if we let it.