8th February, 2020. for me, 2020 was a cold air of death seizing beauty in a stagnant hold.
“do not take life for granted” is a phrase we often hear and usually, we associate this phrase with being grateful for merely being able to be alive. when we jot down on our journals, we (almost) always express our gratefulness for our loved ones, health, wealth and happiness. do not get me wrong, they are the biggest things in life but how often have we really thought about little things in life which we thought were a given?
on March of 2020, our lives changed forever – all across the globe. we were gripped with confusion, fear and then panic. from being thrilled about getting a “vacation” to stay home to being homesick and desperate to head out, we were robbed of human contact from other than the ones we were on lockdown with. a sudden (and a massive one at that) change in our routine followed by the anxiety and fear getting or making others sick was saddening. however, as we were safe in our homes flattening the curve, we came up with a lot of ways to minimise another evil: a mental health fallout during a global health crisis.
as the nation hit pause, the lengthening days of March, April and May saw a rising interest in gardening since lockdown began, even from people who had never shown a scrap of interest in plants before. as we were deprived of in-person interactions with our loved ones like we used to, a lot of us turned to nature and these gardens along with the plants sitting on our windowsills offered us a sanctuary in return. in other words, we planted hope.
our Holy month of Ramadan began on April and almost two billion Muslims across the globe found themselves under lockdown. traditionally, a month of community + family gatherings from the communal Tarawih prayers to the sahūrs and iftars with loved ones, it became a whole new experience for us – one which we were not ready for. however, although the word “lockdown” sounds so heavy in conversation, our Prophet ﷺ would often retreat into states of isolation. hence, similarly, we sought this opportunity as a time to reflect, prioritise, recenter and align ourselves with the faith we hold so close.
by now, our mindset had begun to change. no longer gripped with anxiety and fear like we were when it all began, we became focused on making the most out of our peculiar situation. as the lockdown was eased and we no longer needed a permit to run the most trivial or mundane errands, we started heading out in social bubbles. the first morning I headed out after staying home for almost three months was…unexplainable. I looked up at the sky and back to the jammed streets of Male’ yet felt a sense of relief. I saw my nation at its’ lowest point, slowly trying to make its’ way back.
despite the lockdown being lifted, most of us chose to head out solely to run the necessary errands. back home, we became rather tech-savvy as we equipped ourselves with all the necessary skills to connect with our loved-ones, classmates and co-workers in a remote fashion. from online lectures and meetings to yoga classes, a new era has dawned upon us and it is up for us to further define it. our spirits have been rekindled as we now recognise the importance of meditation along with prayer during these tiring times. we became more compassionate, caring and intelligent as we were able to under the pain of the world and the sadness of our loved ones from a completely different perspective; miles away.
we are living through an event which will go down in history books as the most significant event of this era. everyone has their own take on the stories they tell, but we all share a common theme. the theme of compassion and resilience. the year 2020 has taught us that we are strong, so strong to overcome an obstacle as big as this one. and as we sit down with our feelings tonight, know that after a long night, dawn is inevitable. despite the virus still being among us, let’s leave the horrors of 2020 behind.
stay safe, my lovely readers. I wish you all a very happy new year. ♥ may Allah سبحانه و تعالى protect us and keep us all safe.
Images © Eama B. Musa 2021
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