The academic year is almost over and it couldn’t come soon enough.
I am feeling pretty exhausted. Although many people have plans to escape for the summer, I haven’t made any plans as such. The economic drudgery continues despite the balmy weather and that is a stark reality not many of us can pretend is not here.
Having said that, I am very grateful to have my sons back home together, Alhamdulillah. One son is still away but inshaAllah we will soon all be finally reunited for a few weeks. For me, that would be a reward in itself. It seems such a long time since we were all under one roof! I don’t know what the future holds – who will be where, doing what and when – so I always treasure the time that we have together as a family.
I do hope to travel in the summer still. Even if it’s just a road trip and one night away from home. As a family, I believe the change of scene will do us an immense amount of good. We have all had a stressful year in different ways and need to recharge. Some people would argue that a holiday does nothing but cause more financial stress; that often we return to yet more housework as the cost of going away. Whilst that may be true to some extent, the experience of seeing something new and being able to completely unwind, is something that can’t be measured in monetary terms. The mental benefits far outweigh anything else. And being able to recharge can’t ever be achieved fully from seeing the same daily vista that we are used to at home.
Since I was very young, I always dreamt of being able to escape for a few days to a beach setting. No people. No phones. No distractions. Just the lure of the infinite cerulean sky mirrored in a pristine sea. This image epitomises an example of perfection in Allah’s creation. To be able to reconnect to nature and the Creator in this setting is just an awesome thought. Whilst I may not be able to do it on this occasion, this summer, I still aspire to fulfilling that dream.
For now, I am content just to have moments to sit with my boys and talk about anything and everything. That’s another priceless gift and Alhamdulillah, it can happen right here and now and doesn’t require a fancy hotel or foreign currency. I take immense pleasure just listening to them vocalising their personal ambitions and I know they are also enthusiastic about mine. It is a trait that I have carefully cultivated in them – the need to be aware of the importance of family and others around them. Just because I am older does not mean that my aspirations have diminished. I want each of us to be interested in the other.
As I close this blog today, not knowing what the rest of the summer may or may not bring, for now, yet again I can find many more excuses for saying “Alhamdulillah“.