November 13, 2005
Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatuallahi wa Barakatuhu. The other day I was chatting with a young woman from India who has asked me if I would be her writing mentor. Subhan'Allah, I was flattered, to say the least! In response to her asking me if I had ever written poetry, my mind drifted back. Before I moved to Washington, D.C. back in 2000, I did, indeed, have a book of poetry. It was a hard-cover, red volume with once blank pages. Through the years, from the time I was in the 5th grade in elementary school all the way through my sophomore year at University (when I lost my inspiration), I had, one by one, filled almost all of the book's pages. It was really something when my teenage daughter, Ashley, so many years later, found the book and began keeping it with her, reading each page over and over. Sometimes I found her keying the text into a document on the computer; or writing them over in one of her school notebooks. She never spoke to me of her feelings about the book, but I imagined it came as somewhat of a surprise to her that she found within its contents thoughts and feelings expressed from the heart of her mother, that she, herself, had also begun to feel (she was, Al-hamdulillah a late bloomer, and likely cringing as she reads this). *wink* Sadly, the book of poetry was lost somewhere in the transition of my move from South Carolina to the District of Columbia. I have, from time-to-time grieved its loss, but as I once said to my husband, it is my idea that in Jannah, my beloved horse, Christy, will greet me, insha'Allah. I will climb up on her back with the same ease as when I was just 15, and we will ride together for miles along the most beautiful shoreline imaginable (an unfulfilled fantasy). And during our walk Christy will recite back to me the poems of my book (existing at that phase of my life), that I used to recite to her on the lazy afternoons we spent together walking the trails in the nearby woods of the little community in Michigan where I lived during those lazy, carefree summer days of my high school years. So, anyhow, just a few minutes ago, I was lying down with part of my sweater over my head, trying to recover from a terrible headache, when suddenly one of the poems flooded back into my mind. I sat up with a start, determined to record the poem before memory escaped me once again. (continued...) Copyright © 2005, Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.