We're back to being a family now. Complete with the Mommy, Daddy and three girls. Gone is the echoing of footsteps in a house too large for us; gone is that unpolished silence. Our Skype button's been untouched for a while, left to itself feeling useless. And there couldn't have been a better time.
I love this month. Who doesn't?
It's a feeling that I can't quite put my finger on- a weightlessness in the air. Like the burden of breathing to keep yourself alive has lifted, and now you're just be-ing without effort. Out pops the crescent and our worlds turn friendly overnight. Curvy smiles and serene hearts. Floating of people who usually drag their way along.
I love this month, and the little family rituals we preserve. A sulky meal at 3 a.m. where the joke of whoever dares falls flat. Prayer mats that stay unrolled in their places. The melody of my father's Quran reciting. Clinking of prayer beads and clicking of electronic ones. My mother's 'Menu of the day' in elegant writing on the kitchen's white-board. The items in the menu under construction. Us continuing to purposelessly stride in and out of there. The speedy evaporation of anger or annoyance. The sweetness of an empty tummy. A gentle reminder of another's hunger. The swelling of mind over matter.
It's hilarious what no food can do to you. The sun sets- we're in the kitchen. The first few moments of our meal are unusually silent. Everyone is too busy pacifying themselves. A mathematical equation we must follow: dates, then soup, then the main meal. And a cup of Vimto ofcourse. A scented candle lulling us. And once that's done and we've smirked at whoever's turn it is to wash the dishes, we huddle up and read Du'a al Iftitaah. Another family ritual. Drink tea and pick a television show to laugh at. Spend the whole show throwing comments at the story, actors, and each other. The occasional arrival of family or friends. More laughter. Late into the weightless night.