For three hours, we shared food and Salat and drink and conversation and laughter. We sipped hot mint tea and talked over the details of our days. This was a women's Iftar...my two daughters and I welcomed into a circle that included a few friends, some acquaintances and some women we just met. The women ranged from my daughter (aged 9) to several moms of teens and 20-somethings.
It was an amazing experience.
As Ramadan moves into its second third, I am amazed at the changes I've experienced.
- I've learned to follow a chart of times to eat and drink, instead of surrendering to the demands of my body.
- I've learned to focus on the moment -- a profound lesson in mindfulness.
- I've discovered how very little we need to eat to survive and thrive and am amazed at the vast amount we usually eat in contrast.
- I've learned gratitude for that first sip of milk and first bite of a date at the end of the day.
- I've learned the value of community, as we encourage each other along this season of fasting.
- I've learned humbleness when a homeless man, so impressed by the concept of fasting, decided to fast with us, despite the fact that his daily life already includes hunger and insufficient food.
- I've been imnpressed by the fortitude of my eldest daughter's fast, as she pushes her way through hunger and thirst through school days and household chores.
- And I am touched and grateful for the Iftar invitations that have been arriving daily as people learn that we have joined the fast.