My Dearest Ramadan,
I write to you in the stillness of the night. In the quiet darkness that eluded you and I for so many years. I with my babies and you with your patience, standing by, uncomplaining, as I nursed, held, dozed over one, two, three little souls, never quite making it out to you in time for this special hour. And though it seemed like those years would never end, they did, and here we are now: just you and I, and that sinking realisation that your departure is imminent.
This year I saw you coming from afar. Months before you arrived, I made note of your shape on the horizon, slowly growing larger, edging ever closer. As the world reluctantly halted and we all retreated to our homes, I found myself anxious and uneasy. It wasn’t that I didn’t think you’d come, only that I might not be here when you did.
For why should I be granted the pleasure of your company, your companionship, your gifts and your joy, when those who loved you more than I, cherished you more than I, deserved you more than I, were not granted the same? The weeks before your arrival were marked by a whirlwind of gracious and beautiful souls returning to our Lord. Their breaths all completed, their visits from you forever ended.
When you finally did knock, I opened our door wide and with immense relief – you were here and I was here and it all felt like a dream, but a heavy one. You always know what to do though, don’t you? Within moments of our greeting you had me enveloped in your fragrant warmth, steadied me right next to yourself and then, you simply waited.
Waited as the memories surfaced. Waited as the tears fell. Waited as the remorse surged. Waited as the thankfulness took hold. Waited as the prayers rose up. Waited as the Mercy descended.
I wasn’t able to share you at community iftars, jummah prayers or mosque qiyams, but as it turns out, these simple days and uncomplicated nights with you were just what my heart needed. And it’s this same heart that doesn’t want to let you go.
As you pack your bags and organise your things, I’ve taken to observing you with the same careful attention a mother gives her child. Aware of you at every moment and committing your sweet mornings, stretched out days and triumphant evenings to the centre of my being – holding them as a body memory.
But, it is your serene contentment and radiance that I am infusing into my soul. I want to remember fully, clearly and in great detail just how utterly lovely, heartbreakingly beautiful and completely blessed you are. Let me breathe you in, as if it were the last time.
Oh Ramadan, my graceful and luminous friend, your Lord and my Lord are the same – by His leave, may we meet again and again and again.
With love and duas for all those with whom we will never again be able to share Ramadan – you are greatly missed.
See also: To Ramadan, With Love