The world feels pensive to me right now. And yet it’s March Break and I’m supposed to be looking forward to a lot of fun things this week.

What I really need right now is a pensieve. For un-Harry Potter people, a pensieve is a bowl which allows you to collect your thoughts and memories – to look at objectively or just to relieve your mind a little from all the thinking that’s happening at that moment. It’s a sieve for your thoughts.

And yet it’s March Break. I have lots of to dos – chief of which is to spend time playing with my two children. I’m glad to say I’ve been doing that very responsibly, at least. So far, I’ve consistently rearranged my pensive face into the silly, goofy ones my children love when I’ve got oodles of time with them. Writing about my children actually takes me out of this pensive mood. I’ll never forget the first Eid – during March Break – I had on my own with my children. We were in another city, away from family and housebound because the kids had chicken-pox. In order to keep up the Eid spirit, we set up the whole Eid prayer experience with my son’s action figures. I think Spider-man gave the Khutbah but was kidnapped when he sat down to pause in the sermon. Needless to say, it was one exciting Eid prayer.

The thing is when I play with my children, I really play with them. So when real life starts again next week, they’ll be bothered and continuously say, “can’t you play with us?” I find it hard to really play with them when I’ve had a whole day with a class full of seven-year olds. The reason I became a teacher was because I loved kids and now that I have my own kids, I do so love them more.

This weekend I spent some time with a couple of old friends – one of whom was here on break from her university position teaching law in China. We had a lively conversation over dinner…and it put to my mind how each of our lives had taken such unforeseen courses. I remember the time when we were all squashed into a car going somewhere and there was a sudden silence and someone asked what the others were thinking about. Somebody said that they were thinking where would each one of us be ten years from now? We laughed about our ideas – most of which involved husbands, children and picket fences – but in the end we did a solemn prayer that we would all be guided right by God.

Those friends in the car back then are all over Canada and the world now. And our ideas about the future? Well, I like to remember these lines from the song Come Now by Kareem Salama,

Don’t worry if your life doesn’t play out with perfect symmetry
I say there’s nothing wrong with a life that grows like a tree

That’s my life now: totally like a tree. It’s a good thing I love trees.

P.S. I still need the pensieve though.

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