“O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.
O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.”
amy (brooklyn, u.s.a.) left: I marvel at how rapidly this time has come and gone again. I find myself easily recognizing and falling into the pattern of the Fast, the mood, the tone, the rhythm it evokes. It is an ever quiet time, muted, life happening around me and I, usually a full, active participant, content to observe it and absorb it. As if it is my life, but seen through someone else’s eyes. And all along I know that this is just a preparation. A time to gather my energies, to gear up and be ready to burst into the glorious, colorful, bold joyousness that this New Year brings.
Those flowers are for you, from me. You know who you are: you, who contributed, visited, shared, encouraged and loved this project. Thank you.
leila (boulder, u.s.a.) right: I have been reading everyone’s words, gazing at their photographs, and absorbed in the Writings that they have chosen to share with us: by turns groaning with empathy, joyfully thrilling, and awed. And all the while I have been eating. For the past two Fasts I have been breastfeeding my daughter, an effort that makes me so ravenous that I haven’t even tried to be tactful about sating the hunger in front of my (long-suffering) fasting husband. Every year at this time I am reminded above all to rely upon God, to trust wholly in Him. Far too often in recent years I have spent anxious insomniac nights enumerating all the ways in the world in which I am inadequate. Now, perhaps this is just plain old vanilla-flavoured neuroticism, but I do have the option of asking ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to take over the anxiety so that I can sleep for a bit: Who better to continue a list of my faults? So this is my prayer, it as often as I can remember: “Thy name is my healing, O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy”.