For ALL your Journeys.
I remember planning a day out at the Natural History Museum when we lived in NYC. I had already taken my son once, on a mama and son date and it was so much fun we decided we wanted to have baba join us and go again.
I am definitely not the best when it comes to directions, (after contact lenses, I think GPS was the next best invention the world had to offer me!) but due to the fact that I had navigated our way there once, hubby left me in charge. Bad move.
At one point we both felt stressed, it was not turning out to be straightforward. The heat, the sweat, the hungry child in the stroller, the not having planned for lunch, the wrong turn the wrong subway stop. When suddenly I stopped and just looked at him, and said – ‘Does it matter? Does it really matter?’ NONE of this stuff was worth frowning about! The sunshine was lovely, esp if we walked in the shade and felt the breeze, the child would survive waiting a bit longer for lunch, the wrong turn just meant we get to walk more in this beautiful city, the extra subway stop was just fun and games to the kid we were doing all this for. We relaxed, we smiled, we un-furrowed brows, we held hands. We reminded ourselves that we were not late for anything. We slowed down.
Since then we have had other more pressing tests of our travel endurance! Once involving a much needed passport with a much needed visa stamp in it that had been forgotten in another country. That might have been one of my proudest moments of teamwork and keeping it together in times of travel stress.
I know it’s a cliché but it took me a long time to figure out that ‘happiness is to be found along the way not at the end of the road…’ . To not wait for that future day when I am ‘enough’ of something in order to be happy. To know that the small everyday things are the big things and to be present during the journey of it all and not be too busy looking into the horizon for the destination.
This simple thought has helped me and my husband many a time on our journey together. Taking it in the literal sense there is an Islamic tradition often times attributed to Umar-ibn-khattab that advises along the lines of – One can only know a person well if one has done three things with them ~ ‘ traveled together, had Money/Business dealings together or lived together ‘ Think about it. Rings true doesn’t it? Every single time someone revealed to you their true essence it was probably due to one of these three things.
Just remember this next time you are on your travels, if your partner or travel mate forgets something or makes a mistake – give them a break, take it in your stride, let your true essence of kindness and patience shine. After all; it’s the journey that matters not the destination.
Girl Biking In Hijab Art by Zarina Teli