Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Ramadan, Day 7

It's amazing how quickly we've adapted to the schedule of Ramadan. This morning at 5:30, my 16 year old daughter, who is also observing the fast, came into my room.

"Have you eaten yet, Mommy?" And a while later...

"It's 6. We have until 6:11. Do you want some more water?"

One week since the observance started, and our mornings have changed from a quick Pop-Tart and cup of tea on the way out the door to a real breakfast at 5:30 a.m. And an eye on the schedule posted on the fridge and the clock. No one is questioning whether they could grab another glass of water at 6:12, even though it's only a minute later. The precision of the times makes it impossible to ignore.

And it feels natural. It has already become a part of our routine.

As has the evening, when we watch the time as we prepare dinner.

"Time to break the fast", one of us will say. And the milk comes out, and the dates, and we snack gratefully on those as we get dinner on the table.

Our appetites are diminished, but what we do eat tastes so good, as though we are noticing the flavours and textures for the first time.

Ramadan has already changed us in ways we never anticipated. We expected hunger, thirst, maybe a headache. Some grumpiness. But instead, we've discovered a soothing routine, a schedule to make us aware of food and water and time and commitment. Yes, we have experienced hunger. And at times, the thirst becomes almost unbearable.

But mostly we have discovered an order and peace we had not expected. But have quickly come to cherish.

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