Photo by Haila Alkhamis of her mother's hands in prayer
Go where your heart takes you, into the wild places of your imaginings, into a thick forest’s hidden clearing, onto the solemn blue of the sea. Delight in the luminous stars of a strange city somewhere, where the air smells of perennials, and the water dances and bounces under an open sky. Bathe in sunlight, bathe in rain, bathe in the sweetness of someone’s embrace. Run into the fog of an early autumn morning, past the tree-lined boulevard, past the windows of houses where you see the shimmering faces of children dreaming their first dreams, as you once did as a child in this house where I sit by the window thinking of your whereabouts.
March with the young and old, for the voiceless and wronged, march to the mad drum of your heart. And when you are tired, be still with the trees, lie flat on the open ground and gaze at the moon, at the galaxy faraway, at the life you have yet to live. Listen to the music of the world coming from sparrows, from a thunder’s rumble, from a street awash with falling rain.
And when you come home, tell me all about the adventures and shades of heartache, how the meandering road led you to a sunlit meadow, how you finally found what you were looking for, a life you crossed oceans to reach, and how, wherever you went, grace followed you like a shadow, like a persistent memory, like a mother’s prayer.