The Little Buddha

Today was a different kind of soul-full. We spent the morning at Temple of Edfu, and the afternoon at Temple of Kom Ombo.

First, the entrance. At the Temple of Edfu, we were alongside tourists from Maghreb. An older gentleman, the age of my matrilineal seedo the last time he kissed my forehead goodbye, was wearing a smaller version of the fez made popular by the Ottoman Turks. My grandfather used to wear the more traditional one, taller and with a  black tassel. This gentleman was walking quietly with his hands linked to one another behind his back, head and shoulders slightly forward, exactly as my seedo walked. Unless I was next to him, in which case he would have one hand in mine, and the other behind his back.

He is buried in Palestine, and though I have been home once since he left this dunya, I was incapable of visiting his grave. My legs could not move when I was presented with the option; instead, they took me to sleep in his bed where we used to listen to the Voice of Peace when I was a child.

I wonder what seedo would make of my life today. I hope he would forgive my mistakes and know that his daughter kneaded into me all that he would have prayed for.

Last, the exit. It was 745am, and as we were leaving the Temple, I saw him sat alone, cross-legged, well away from the entrance. A very little boy, clearly on strike from his parents, he had had enough, and had decided that he wasn’t having anymore of it. At first, I wasn’t certain to whom he belonged, until his mother came back to negotiate his day. He was tired and disinterested, but the fact that he was sitting quietly like a little Buddha, prepared to wait for his family to finish was a lesson in itself – with patience, respect your body’s tempo for self-care. From the actions of babes…

Today, I am grateful for:
1. The way the moon floats across the water.
2. Memory.
3. God’s voice, as I hear it in my dreams.

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