Monday, 24 September 2007

11 days of Ramadan and counting

Last night, I attended my first Iftar celebration. It was in the home of one of our Project Downtown members.

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 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.


Jan said...

Thank you for sharing your insights. I have heard that fasting will enlighten one about oneself. The hospitality of others towards you is heartwarming.

otowi said...

How very interesting to read this. I remember my first fast of Ramadhan, too - I was a student at college and worried about the cafeteria closing before I could eat.