Passage of Time

The trip to Nigeria this past summer was the most emotional of all the trips I’ve made back home yet. A lot of shift…

People I had grown up with, others who I’d grown up in their hands, some who we’d grown underneath their eyes… People who knew me as Tohib, or Alfa Tohib, were now calling me Bàbá Zakiyyah. Respect palpable in their voice. It was humbling. I wished I could turn back the hands of time for things to be the way it used to when I was younger.

I gazed at the neighborhood, and things had changed as they’re supposed to. An older uncle in the neighborhood, upon receipt of a token, tried to prostrate – to my shock. I had to quickly stop him.

And then there were deaths of the people of the Masjid, and sickness…

It got me thinking about mindfulness, past the casual usage of the term in today’s pop-psychology. The present tends to elude us as we’re too focused on our pasts, dreams, goals, workstreams, and struggles, that we sometimes fail to see our current realities and growths.

Year by year, our dynamics are changing. Those we looked up to are now colleagues. Our friends are respecting us more and we’re reciprocating it. Our parents are losing power over us. We’re gaining it over them. We’re becoming influential in the family. Uncles and aunts are asking our opinions, and respecting them.

It is important to pause and reflect on the passage of time and what it means for us in our relationship dynamics. Tracing this life trends will lead us towards humility. That we’re here today, but time will happen to us as it has the people before.

Sorry. I can’t seem to gather my thoughts very well anymore because this girl, in whose room I sit to write, keeps dragging my shirt, demanding hot-chocolate. Her request kind of aligns with my reflection on my trip to Nigeria and the changing landscape:

Long time ago, I’ was her – at the mercy of adults. Now I’m the adult and I’ll get her the hotchocolate. If Allah wills, one day when I’m all greyed and frail, she will be the one deciding if I get tea or not.

The passage of time humbles us all.

Be kind. Be merciful.


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