To the girl with wild hair and bright eyes that seeks magic in a world without glitter, there are epiphanies behind her eyelids and wisps of dreamy whirlwinds in her heart. She is a storyteller who spins magic out of seastorms, she is a fleeting steed with a need to be one with the wind, tearing across emerald green grasslands into lands she knows are there even if no one can see them. She believes in redemption, in the forgiveness of the One Lord of His Mercy and His Kindness and that is what keeps a bounce in her step; that keeps stars in her eyes and makes people wonder.
It is her natural wonder that brought her to seek rectification, her wonder that makes her certain. Her “ever-since-she-could-lisp” wonder that made her set out to find fairies in her backyard when she was five that helped her find herself years later, when the telephone booth of every communication she had considered “real” fell down from the Storm. The parts of her that had craved goodness had always been there, hidden by the parts of her that were open and wild and reckless, the good parts were always just beyond the river bend, beyond the shore she was too tentative to step on.
Until the storm.
The storm that came out of the same waded she had waded in, swam in, kissed dolphins in, that she thought welcomed her and held her home like some long lost daughter of the sea that had finally come home, all those years she had hidden under the deep blue from the face-covering aunts and the beard-faced uncles that looked at her like they needed her to grow wings when she only had gills. They say fishermen pray because you can never be sure of the water, but she hadn’t prayed in ages, floated on waves and bumped along whales like a mermaid in Atlantis, complacent and unnerved. So when the tsunami, or was it a hurricane, she could never quite remember, came and took her unknowing into the vortex of Fear and Abandonments she was left gasping for air and wondering where she had messed up.
She was spilt onto shore like a fish that tasted bad, left alone, aching, wandering and wondering, barefoot, wet and more scared that she had been in her whole life. Is this what alone felt like?
It was it that found her, rather than her finding it, that tapped her back like Aladdin’s magic carpet, lay itself at her feet and told her to give humility a go. She sobbed, ransacking tears beating in her ribs, she did not eat, she did not drink, she did not sleep, she did not dare breathe a toe out of line, and she read. She read the Words she had taken for granted so long, let gather dust on her shelf and ignored for nights on end, seeking answers in Rumi and Iqbal, believing them to have the romantic doctrines that would lead her to eternal bliss.
“How bad is that for which they sell themselves! That they should disbelieve in that which Allah has revealed, grudging that Allah should reveal of His Grace to whom he Wills of His Slaves, and they bring upon themselves wrath over wrath!” (Surah Baqarah, Ayah 90)
She spent her days, aching for the late nights she could spend in prayers unseen, and stayed away from people, this was a pain she could not share, and this was an ache she could not vocalize. She spent her nights, reading between the lines and finding meaning in the words that had previously never struck her as relatable, begging forgiveness for her every misgiving, every thoughtless action, every sin. She prayed for the Light, and it came down on her, shimmering slivers of comfort that dawned upon her, reminding her of the finite fickleness of people and the infinite glory of the only Him she would ever need, the One Who forgave when people only said they did, Who knew when others only pretended they did, and understood when others only imagined they did.
“…Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He turned to you, and accepted your repentance…”(Surah Baqarah, Ayah 187)
A month later, she stood in the dawn with wide eyes and a heart firm in belief that only Allah knew what she was hiding, she wore her smile with the pride of a Muslimah Mona Lisa, knowing the secret of eternal bliss were the reminders that pumped into her heart with every beat.
Reminders that her every heartbeat was a Mercy, a Forgiveness, and Redemption, a chance to begin again, she was constantly remembering to be humble and humiliated, to allow herself the satisfaction of being taken care of by a Divine Plan that would look out for her best as long as she did nothing less than her very best, that would take care of her if she took the initiative to take care of herself.
And so she learnt to sail, an oar in each hand, planning and routing her way through tempests and wild seas, recognizing her Only Savior to be the Only One who could care for her if she was lost, and that she never would be as long as she remembered where she was aiming to go. She still aimed for the green pastures of a land she could not see, but this time she knew that she was not the only one dreaming of going there, the Land was real and it was for those who deserved it, “…the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so - for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.” (Surah Al Ahzab, ayah 35)
So pay attention to the girl with wild hair and bright eyes that seeks magic in a world without glitter.
You don’t know how far she’s come to be here.