This is a view of the Jamuna River from the small town of Sirajganj.
I went to Sirajganj to interview women who survived rape and torture during the 1971 Liberation War. It was hard to feel grounded in the midst of all of that pain - 42 years and counting of suffering, lining the faces of all of these elderly women.
My translator and our driver and I shared a paper cone of peanuts as we watched the sky get dark and the frogs hop about near our feet. Open skies and open water did wonders for me that evening.
"God had been present all along but I had never noticed. Perhaps I wasn’t looking, or perhaps I was looking in the wrong places. If I had been looking I would have looked to a great and powerful wind to tear the mountain and shatter the rocks, to the earthquake or to the fire…but instead, I needed to listen to the gentle whisper, the still small voice, the
Presence one encounters by diving deep and surfacing."
Laura Geller, “Encountering the Divine Presence”
"Seest thou not how God citeth a symbol?
A good word is as a good tree, its roots set firm, and its branches in Heaven.
Giving its fruit at every season by the leave of its Lord.
God citeth symbols for humankind that they may remember."
Quran XIV: 24-25
I love this.
1. Saw five wild turkeys on my run!
2. Going to print out a big countdown for the Boston Marathon 2014 and stick it in my room. Whether I qualify for the Tufts team or not, I reeeaaaalllyyy want to try.
Honestly, I just love setting crazy possible-not-possible goals for myself. I’ve never attempted to achieve a goal that’s purely physical before - actually, I don’t think I’ve ever really had a purely physical goal that I wanted to achieve. I guess at one point I really wanted to do the splits, and after about five months of P.E. Dance and a lot of ice skating practices, I was able to. But what I’ve noticed is that the more physically able and confident in my physical abilities that I am, the more confident I am in myself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Being outside is one of the ways that I feel Allah’s presence the strongest, and when I push my body I feel more - wind in my hair, gravel under my feet, occasional blisters, sweat on my face, the sun on my arms, burning muscles, pumping lungs - and it brings me closer to Allah. If fresh air and sunshine touch my skin, I just feel better. It’s all connected. Spiritual health and physical health are entwined for me, and they support and strengthen each other.
If all goes as planned, Megan, Anisha, and I will all have run the Boston Marathon in our senior years, one after another after another! So. 22 and a half months before Boston Marathon 2014. YEAH!
"Each star illuminates the others, and they are all the more brighter for being together, not less."
Pictures are from a sunrise hike of Mt. Monadnock. Left at 1:30 AM, got up to the summit just in time for sunrise. It was so beautiful.
One of my best friends, Megan (she’s in the last picture with me!), is graduating tomorrow. I’m so excited for her to go on new adventures with Teach for America in Mississippi, but I’m going to miss her so, so much. The quote is from her speech at a seniors reception today. Sigh. Bittersweet. But I love, love, love hiking, and I love it all the more when I’m with crazies like these!