The Beauty of Age

meer boot meer boote2

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!

meerblick moschee BM

A little family trip to the Moroccan capital and coast 

meeresschätze first spring
And some first signs of spring and treasures from the sea 

12 thoughts on “The Beauty of Age

  1. Alles hat seine Zeit – liebe Itto!
    Und wie gut kann ich dich verstehen – auch wenn 36 für mich nur noch eine Erinnerung ist. Auch ich denke immer wieder nach über die Vergänglichkeit, das was war und ist und wie es sein wird und ob es das war und ist, was sein soll. ….
    Freude und Schmerz, Tun und Lassen, Dank und Klage, Lob und Zweifel….
    Alles hat seine Zeit!
    Trotzdem und gerade deshalb: Wünsche ich Dir von Herzen Alles Liebe und Gute zum Geburtstag. Möge Gott um dich sein, mit dir gehen, deine Schritte und Hände leiten und dich beschenken mit seinem reichen Segen. Täglich neu!
    Herzlichst
    Ingrid

  2. As-salaamu alaikum sister! I am 35 and have been going through your feelings, lol. subhanAllah! I was thinking truly this is a mid-life crisis! I never cared about aging before! But when I started to complain of aches and pains and fatigue, I said to myself I am too young to feel this way. I want to reach 100+ inshaAllah.. I admire the older women and men who have reached that age and still have energy and that twinkle in their eyes, and wisdom, and spirituality, mashaAllah! Please take a look into the “raw food diet”. I peeked into it and it makes soo much sense! May Allah bless you and us with a life filled with health, wisdom, tranquilty and nearness to Allah, ameen. I am soo sorry for your sister’s loss.
    W/ peace,

  3. Danke für Deine wundervollen Worte, liebe Itto! Deine Gedanken haben mich sehr berührt…bald kommt der Frühling…zu Euch, wie zu uns…und dann werden wir das junge Grün wieder in unsere Herzen lassen und es wird uns verjüngen, du wirst sehen. Ich denke viel an Dich!

  4. Salaam alaikum…I share all your thoughts about aging….I am 40…soon 41. I didn’t notice my age until suddenly I realized I had passed the “zenith of my life” as you say. It was kind of a shock! Being busy with my family of 7, and being super support person, taxi driver, cook, and therapist : ) teacher part time too…just kept me distracted until I noticed my skin didn’t freshen up every morning the way it used to, or my posture changed too. Worse, my moods seemed to be more irritable (hormonal changes!!!) I did not like it, because on the inside I am not ready to be old! But then I went through this whole thing of reevaluating what it means to get older, and I started seeing how age can enhance a person, and how it can make one worse too! We must be careful to not let negative personality habits take root because they become part of one’s character and are so difficult to change past 40! To be honest, it is harder than I though it would be at 40, and so you are right we must take extra good care, and exercise and eat healthfully and be in touch with our bodies! Enshallah I hope others share their thoughts and tips and ideas about how to age gracefully, keeps one’s faith bright and strong, let the bitterness of past moments go…please share more of yours, dear Itto, a friend of heart, whom I am still hopeful to see and talk with one day, enshallah!
    Yours,
    Valerie

  5. I really like your thoughts on life and age, Itto. What is important is to keep honoring ourselves, as creation of God. We can’t slow down the process. But with each year, we learn something about life and gain wisdom. We discover new things and we grow emotionnally and in our faith.
    We are moving from one place to another. And we recall glory days with a peaceful heart.
    Stay well, safe and welcome the spring with a big smile on your face!

  6. i was just having a conversation with a friend (over the internet) about aging, and i said,
    ” oh – wrinkles are good – they tell stories about life. (i have always loved crow’s feet and sun-wrinkles – i remember being a little girl and longing for the day when i would have crow’s feet/laugh lines – i have always thought they make someone look happy!)” and also, “one of my good friends said that 40 and 41 have been her favorite ages so far!!”

    then i clicked over to your blog and almost laughed out loud at what i read here – how funny and wonderful to be thinking similar thoughts on the very same day!

    (i hadn’t visited your blog in a long time, then i remembered and stopped in here the other day. i had forgotten how much i love your words and the peaceful feeling of what you write here. i’ll stay in touch again.)

    ~elizabeth

  7. Mashallah a beautiful and inspiring post as always, I am not so wise yet have yet to cast away the expectation of birthdays which I have grown up with but inshallah I pray this year I can do just as you have said. I pray everything is going well in your valley and that spring will bring a renewed energy to all🙂

  8. I turned 36 last year and while i don’t celebrate, I made many important changes and have been trying to change my outlook on life. May you have a long life with your family and friends, and continue to be of inspiration to those around you.
    Salam!

  9. Everyday is birth-day and every night is birth-night.
    Eternity don’t know what “age” could be.
    So, what do you mean, dear Itto?
    Happy birthday/night/year … to you!

  10. Dear sis,,
    I loved you blog the moment I found it,, the pictures,, your writings and your attitudes all attracted me..
    May Allah bless you and your family..

  11. …es gibt deinen Worten nichts beizufügen! Danke dir Itto, dass du uns alle mit deinen Worten immer wieder aufs neue berührst! Ich bin in Gedanken so oft bei euch… Fühl dich gedrückt, alte Frau😉

  12. Assalaamu alaikum. Lovely blog post and really happy to see that you are still blogging. I like your acceptance of your age and the little annoyances that come with it (grey hairs, wrinkles and aching limbs) – things I’m still having a hard time adjusting to and I’m a few years older!

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