Old boats in Rabat city
This month I turn 36, mashaallah.
I do not celebrate it, as it isn’t in the habit of us Muslims to celebrate birthdays. The date itself doesn’t mean a lot to me anymore.
But recently I come to think a lot about age and getting older.
I am not sure if it is because of the actual number of age itself, like kind of a midlife-crisis-thing, or if it is because of after having given birth to four children, alhamdulillah, my body aches sometimes and passed the zenith of its lifetime.
I sometimes really feel now like an old old woman, mashaallah (even though 36 is not a very old age), and sometimes, when I look into the mirror, I see the youth passing. I see the grey hair showing up more and more on my head, and wrinkles tracing my face.
I then have to remind myself to appreciate these signs of age and to thank Allah for what He gifted me with; to honour my body for all it did and experienced already.
I then have to remind myself that we all have to go through the same and that the wrinkles are the testimonial of lots of happiness and also of some suffering, of good and sad moments I’ve already been allowed to live, alhamdulillah; And that the grey hair is a sign of inner wisdom and light, inchaallah, that grows with age.
I then have to remember all the wonderful older women I know, some of them much older than I am (like my great aunty for example who will turn 100 this year inchallah); Women who went through so much in their lives and who are still so beautiful, healthy, strong and very energetic, wonderful role models to follow.
I then have also to remember to take care of my body, to be good with myself, of taking advantage of youth before age, of health before illness and of life before death;
I have to take care of my wellbeing, my soul and inner balance and I have to remind myself to see the aging itself in a beautiful light, like the Wabi-sabi–philosophy teaches us (an old Japanese world view) to see the beauty in the imperfect and to acknowledge the grace of patina and age in everything.
I then have to remind myself that I generally much prefer old things over new, antique over modern stuff, and that I should also appreciate my own age with all its good and the signs it begins to show, with all the experiences made, the inner self-confidence gained, the things already learned, the insights reached, the maturity won, subhanallah.
Honestly, 36 isn’t an old age. But my little sister died already at the age of 28 mashaallah, and so I know that life is too short to be spent in complaining, moaning and self-pity , there is still a lot to expect, a lot to wait for, aims to achieve, knowledge to seek and things to learn, inchallah,
I sometimes have to look into the mirror, leaving self criticism behind and telling myself that I honour and love the woman I am and that I appreciate the things I see deep in my own eyes: love and warmth, sorrow and pain, joy and laughter, understanding and empathy, many questions and a curious twinkle that is still so vivid, alhamdulillah, even though my eyelids sometimes show now signs of fatigue.
Spring is slowly coming back into our valley, and what seemed to be death gets now filled with new life, subhanallah. Life turns in circles and cycles and mother earth gets older every year, but there is always the promise of new life, of hope and beauty in the creation of God.
Life is good, alhamdulillah!
A little family trip to the Moroccan capital and coast