Hokkaido and the northern part of Japan woke up to bitterly cold temperatures and heavy snow showers. As the “BIG FREEZE” continued to keep an icy grip on the northern part of this world, we generally struggle to cope with the changes in climate. As the winter tightens its grip, the smiles turn into frowns. Frozen lakes, burst pipes, blocked roads and head high snow makes life far more difficult than it already is. At first, it was welcomed with joy, but it quickly turns in problems. But if you think it’s been cold, count your blessings that we can still afford to keep ourselves warm at night.
A bright gaze, as blank and menacing as the Sun but yet gracefully shone right across the dark, damp earth. Forcefully it shrinks the whitish snow only to reveal the green flowers that lay patiently beneath. The blue sky, accompanied by scattered white clouds paints the perfect picture. The mild wind brushes along the skin and kisses the leaves to grow. The air is fragrant filled with the smell of beautiful young flowers growing. Spring is in the air! Winters difficulties are quickly forgotten by the renewed hope that spring can offer. Spring brings new hope and also brings warmer weather, beautiful flowers, leaves on the trees, fresh air and the sounds of children playing outside. March brings April flowers. Continue reading “Sakura’s Beauty”
From the watering eyes of Palestinians…
Look into my eyes, tell me what you see?
You don’t see a thing, coz u can’t relate to me!
You’re blinded by our differences, my life makes no sense to you…
You worry about your education and the bills you have to pay,
I worry about my vulnerable life,
If I survive another day…?
In many parts of the world, the New Year is anticipated with much joy and hopefulness. It usually symbolizes on a new beginning. A new beginning for a better year to come. More often than not, we pray and hope deep inside for a better life. Old and young would gather in their masses to celebrate and would party up until the dawn of day. A new leaf is turned, with each secretly hoping that this would be a good year for them. Continue reading “Look Into My Eyes”
The eyes creaked open a little. It was dazzled by the sudden surge of bright gold. A drowsy arm reached for the watch beside the bed. A stream of pain emerges on top of the head all of a sudden. The drowsy arm quickly searches for the source of it. It rubbed the head to soothe and make the pain go away. I blinked and realized that the gaudy glare was from the light that I had not switched off the night before. I tried to remember what was causing this pain…
Then it filled my memory. It was all coming back.
I was really excited that morning. I woke a little bit late and got dressed as fast as I could. My heart was pounding and my mind racing as to today’s plan. I ran all the way to the bus to find that the lecturer is already waiting by the bus. Still puffing I quickly got on it. I knew that I was in for a new experience.
In every journey, the traveler must ask was the right path taken. Was the right turn made. Many roads are long and winding. Some are rough and bumpy filled with obstacles. Yet it is filled with those who have lost their way. Some forge their own course guided by faith, seeking not location but a kindred soul. Others step together finding safety in the arms of another. A few remove themselves from the trail to avoid the path of temptation. But those who watch the track too closely fail to see where it led them. They’re often all too surprised by their destination. So great is the journey for the soul. A seeker’s path to reach the Heavens.
O mankind! What is it that lures you away from your bountiful Sustainer, who has created you, and formed you in accordance with what you art meant to be and shaped your nature in just proportions, having put you together in whatever form He willed?
-The Quran (82:6-8)
So many questions asked. Yet with so many signs already shown, we fail to neither read nor understand it. As its mountains pierce through the clouds, high above the lives of men. And its rivers run and split through the earth, right through men. So does the moon illuminate the night and the sun shine through the day. And its stars like priceless jewels from the far reaches of Kings, guiding us through the nights. Signs of the Creator are all around us. Why do we keep asking for God yet we can’t seem to see the Creator’s signs?
With it so many hearts have closed to the wonders of these signs. Like a bird trapped in a cage, asleep with closed wings. Like pearls hidden deep beneath the black water. Continue reading “Seeker of the Soul”
“I’ve been living with a shadow overhead,
I’ve been sleeping with a cloud above my bed”
“I’ve been watching but the stars refuse to shine,
I’ve been searching but I just don’t see the signs”
These are the words that best describe what is going through my mind then. Fake smiles and meaningless laughter helps from other people noticing it. Every now and then hoping for the sun to muscle its way over the dark cloud to shine its sunny rays into my life. A bit of sunshine would be nice for a change.
… And know that Allah cometh in between the man and his own heart … (Al-Anfal, 8:24)
So, the journey has begun. Physically I have arrived, but the heart and mind needs some persuading into. I didn’t have to seek further. The moment I stepped into the camp, the burden and the weight seemed to just disappear into thin air. It seemed as if I had entered into a totally different world. I quickly settled in with all of the participants. Friends old and new alike. Some of them came from the far north of Hokkaido and some even came from the horizons of Korea!
…And whosoever keepeth his duty to Allah, Allah will appoint a way out for him, (2) And will provide for him from (a quarter) whence he hath no expectation. And whosoever putteth his trust in Allah, He will suffice him. Lo! Allah bringeth His command to pass. Allah hath set a measure for all things. ( At-Talaq : 2-3 )
The first night was highlighted with us forming a circle for a little bit of ta’kruf . The unique part of it is that each and everyone of us had to form a question about themselves. And randomly select another person to answer it for us. You’d have to experience it first-hand to enjoy the spirit of the game. It was quite fun actually. Okey, I’ll share it with you all, what my question was.
Me: What was the first sport that I got involved in?
3. Total free flowing “Samba-style” football (a little bit exaggerated …hehe.)
The train leaves in about an hour. It was nearing midnight. But I was not sleepy at all. I wondered if the journey that I’m going to take is worth the while.The heavy heart made me feel a bit reluctant to go, I guess. A journey to the east.
I am in a state of mess. My head is spinning with all the problems I faced. Furthermore, my savings is starting to dry up. I was at the bottom of the life cycle. I was contemplating how life has treated me. I had led an ‘easy’ life up until now. Then, without warning, all of a sudden everything came crushing down on me.
I needed a new hope to cling on to. A new motivation. A new ‘lease of life‘ to say the least. I was drowning and needed air.Enough just to breathe. I wasn’t asking for too much am I? Continue reading “Searching for that Something…”
No matter where we come from, what languages we speak or what color our skin is, we are all unique in special ways. We all share the same desire and hunger to succeed and most importantly to love and to be loved. Many have argued that love is only a feeling and cannot bring wealth nor success but deep inside, we all know that love is the greatest motivation that a person can have.
When I was at the airport and on the verge of boarding the plane to come to Japan, I caught a glimpse of my mum’s face and I couldn’t help but notice that there was something shining in her eyes. I quickly realized that it was her tears. I didn’t realize it was happening but I could soon feel streams of tears on my own cheeks. I was actually crying too! Trying to avoid her gaze, I hastily waved back at her. It struck me then, as if I hadn’t realized it before, that I was all alone now, facing a whole new world. Stepping into the unknown, into a world that seemed so strange. I felt a sudden coldness as if an ice cube had been trickling down my back. I was actually feeling scared to leave the comfort and warmness of the ones I love the most. Even though there were a lot of people around me then, I felt so alone, rooted in the moment all by myself. I wandered where all the love and security had disappeared to so quickly? Is it all now left in my memory? Continue reading “Old Memories, New Adventures…”