Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Gardener in the Garden of Stones - Eidul Fitri and my mother

The Gardener
Goodbye sweet smile,
How you broke the gloom of night
In your breaking dawn each time
You turned and smiled at me,

Goodbye gentle heart,
How you lifted me up every time I fell,
How you gathered me in your arms
And assured me that you will always be there,

Goodbye kindly soul,
How you made this house a home
And how you fed everyone who came
With food and kindness,

Goodbye beautiful spirit,
How struck I was with your passing
Never to know when we shall meet again,
Under an overcast sky, I took myself away
And in solitude, I began to cry,

Goodbye loving gardener,
Where are you now tending to the flowers and trees?
In whose garden are you pottering and weeding?
For I hope they appreciate your love and work
Among your geraniums and orchids
Far more than your son ever did.

Each Eidul Fitri that marks the end of Ramadhan finds me just that bit more quiet, just that bit more introspective, as sweetness and sadness mix in the vessel of emotion that we call the human spirit.

This Eidul Fitri is the 10th since my mother left the bosom of her family and friends. She was a lot of things to a lot of people. She was a dutiful and caring wife, a generous and loving mother, a smiling matriarch of the extended family, a concerned sister to all her siblings and an unforgettable personality to her many, many close friends. But to the big garden that once adorned our home for 20 years at No.2 Lorong Basong, she was The Gardener. Every morning I would see her pottering around the garden, watering and trimming the plants, fertilizing the soil and cutting away at the weeds that is her eternal enemy. Later she would scold me for kicking my football into the shrubs and knocking down some of her beloved flowers and ferns.

What I would give to have her come in right now and scold me.

Have a wonderful Eidul Fitri, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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