Usually, Ramadan is a more-heightened-than-normal-life experience. Last year was the first year I had an exceptional Ramadan. I woke up every morning before sunrise and had a small bite to eat, prayed subuh (the 1st of 5 daily prayers) and then fell back asleep before waking up to begin my day.
Last year was also the first ever year I was completely entrenched within Ramadan. I was focused on, living and breathing the character that – failing to carry it throughout the year – was supposed to be representative of Islam. When I stood to pray, I imagined myself inside of and protected by a teardrop that was being looked after by God. It was a wonderful, amazing and – admittedly – exhausting experience; focused and clear and simple.
This year, I can’t seem to find my way to any of the above.
I was, and remain humbled that I am experiencing another Ramadan with a near 1.5 billion sisters and brothers in this, my faith tradition of Islam.
I am grateful for every blessing I find in every nook and cranny of my everyday life (& everything is indeed the cherry on the cake that is an already blessed life; I am not complaining and I am not taking for granted anything).
I am equal parts excited and scared that this is the month during which I get to reflect on the good, the bad and the ugly of last year, in order to focus on all that I hope to change, accomplish, dismiss, refine and deepen this coming year.
With that still, this is not my month – not this year, anyway.
This, I do not mean physically, as even though the fasting day is at nearly 14 hours per day, I am not at all hungry. In fact, I feel healthy and energized all day long.
It is, unfortunately, a spiritual malaise and fatigue that has overwhelmed me. I am going through the motions without a sense of connection to anything horizontal or vertical, and this saddens me in a way I can not express as I don’t fully understand it. This year, and with all of the laughter and excitement that rises with the pretty sun, I am feeling a little bit out at sea without focus during the one month where I should be firmly anchored.
There are 19 days left; I don’t believe we live in the age of miracles – or perhaps we no longer recognize them – and so I don’t expect much to change over the coming three weeks. All I can hope is that next year, inshallah, I will be capable of experiencing Ramadan at center, once more.