I am preparing desperately for Ashara as the clock ticks. I must wrap up work and finish things that are due to clients before I close shop for two weeks. I don’t want to leave them in the lurch – I want to make sure they have everything they need and are also prepared for me to be gone. I am preparing to close my house for two weeks – take the plants outside so they can be watered by the rain, take out trash, finish up the food, make sure we have what we need when we come back. Think about what we need in our bags, mend clothes, fix buttons, does everyone have the right shoes?
But this year, this year I am prepared like never before. This year’s Ashara has been on my mind for months and by now my focus is razor sharp. By that, I don’t mean that I finished the client work or the travel preparations days in advance– I’m pretty sure I will still be packing my bags the morning of the flight and racing to the airport. But my heart is ready and my mind is ready. What did the months of ohbat maatam, sabaq and zikrs give me? It readied my heart. It vanquished my doubts. I am there. I will be there. I put my name on the roster months in advance. I’ll be in my spot way ahead of time. I am prepared to give my all. I know the stories. I taught them to my children, too. When I hear the familiar words, my heart will break. You will hear me cry. He will hear me cry. Chalk me up in the ranks of the faithful. We are here.