Brief Reprieves

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Some days, well most days really, I sit here in the lull of evening – after classes, meals and most prayers are complete, before bed, when bellies, hearts and minds are full, and I knit. Or play board games with the boys. Or listen to their chatter as I stare into the (fake) fire sipping soothing tisane. I like this time of year, even though I suffer terribly from the confusing shortening days that play havoc with whatever part of my working brain that registers these things. In summer the boys play outside until it really become socially unacceptable and bedtimes must be mooted. And then ten more minutes after that. We play a lot as a family in summer – days out, beach trips and the like, but we rarely sit in this room together as we do in the darker months.

It’s a rhythm we easily remember and pick up year after year. Evenings become family time. Sometimes I reflect on how this has altered over the years from the time when the kids would make dens with every piece of furniture and cushions we owned, and/or run relentlessly around the coffee table until they were dizzy, sweaty, hyperactive and on the cusp of meltdown. Now it’s calm. We read, or talk, or play. And it really is a wind down to bed.

It is in these moments, after struggling some days with keeping on an even keel, that I am genuinely grateful. I see the light. I see the positives. Things are going to be OK. This is OK. I have a warm home, masha’allah. Whatever storm rages outside, in here, for all it’s shortcomings, it’s alright.

I say a little prayer of thanks, alhamdulillah, for this.

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