Where I Belong

More than a decade ago, I wrote this poem:
Standing on a purple hill,
enraptured eyes gazing
at the scarlet sun, descending,
splitting the sky into
soft alluring colours.
This is where I belong.
Far from the self-centered world,
far from petty issues over-coming the senses
far from observing, time and time again
a frown, an icy gaze,
a smirk, an irksome look,
scathing words veiled with smiles
oh those smiles!
That leave the senses numbed, the tongue locked,
The mind too flustered to contemplate what it sees.
Alas, I realize, it’s only me.
I do not belong
The rest of the world smiles along.
They laugh, they talk. They are full of mirth.
Do they not behold what is so conspicuous to me?
Or is it?
Confusion, anguish,
I wonder at the world,
I wonder at myself.
Baffled, bewildered, my mind cannot rest.
Until,
A smile, of pure innocence
A look, full of concern
A helping hand draws near
Hope returns
Eyes look around, at first, tentative,
then ravening to see more
and not in vain.For now, time and time again my heart rejoices
As it perceives that which it had been craving
Love, warmth, affection
It was all there
It had been there
I just had not paid heed.
Yes now, I laugh, I talk. I am full of mirth
I have learnt to look and overlook
At last, I belong.

copyright@2003

It took some courage to share the whole poem today, for I can see in these words the child within me that exists even today.

I did not belong then. I do not belong now.

I have come to an island where the sun splits the sky into radiant colours. Every single day.

Where the sunrises are as full of splendour as the sunsets.

Where my life had a lot of sunrises, after a lot of sunsets.

And yet I do not belong.

Because I am not ever going to belong to this Earth. I have been made for something far beyond the seas and sands of this planet. I have been made for a time and space far removed from the confined nature of time and space in this Earth.

I will never belong. The people across the globe help me, assist me, and I can connect to them, speak to them, share my joys and pains with them. But, we travel alone. Our connection is only meaningful connection so long as the Real Connection exists between us. When each of us is Connected to Him, our connection with each other means so much more.

And so we travel, not belonging. Strangers. We get along, but we do not belong.

We revel, we cherish, but our hopes lie elsewhere. We are forever grateful, but our hearts ache, saddened by the distance. Afraid of the path still untravelled.

We hold dear to our hearts, the saying of the Prophet (s):

“عَنْ ابْن عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا قَالَ: أَخَذَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم بِمَنْكِبِي، وَقَالَ: “كُنْ فِي الدُّنْيَا كَأَنَّك غَرِيبٌ أَوْ عَابِرُ سَبِيلٍ

Ibn Umar (r) narrated: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) took me by the shoulder and said, “Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a wayfarer.”

And we remind ourselves, that travellers have it hard. They enjoy the adventure, but they get tired. And at the end of the day, they have to keep going. They cannot stop.

Their destination awaits them.

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