Last year, my sanity came from walking (through the woods, along the side of the creek, side stepping the puddles of the early thaw, trying and failing not to wet my socks, on the road, on the community trail, by every half built house in our new neighbourhood).
My walks were where my thoughts could wander or still completely.
where I could reason myself through worst case scenarios and if-then if-then situations to steady the dread rising up in my bones.
where I could listen to a dua on repeat, soothing in the mantra, in the meaning and the incantation, a low hum in my head and my heart spreading to my fingertips. Allahumma, Allahumma, Allahumma (“Oh my Lord I ask you” and then an itemized list of protection from my deepest fears to requests for my deepest desires).
where I could forget and remember.
where I could call a sister (in her new kitchen in London, Ontario, out in her garden on her hobby farm in Sacramento, walking through a market in Istanbul) and continue whichever conversation from whichever last thought was uttered days or weeks or months ago, always falling into laugher or tears immediately, always cracked open, a raw egg sizzling on the sidewalk, my heart laid bare.
My walks were my sanity and my freedom, my solitude and my interaction.
And if those were my walks they were their walks too, and then they were not.
A vehicle, revving forward. I shake the thought away but it won’t leave me. I am paranoid
am I paranoid?
I can’t stop walking because then
what is left?
where would I go to put down the agitation and the restlessness and the desperation, where would I go to quiet my soul?
Allahumma irhamhum wa taqabbalhum ma3a al-Abrar (Oh my Lord have mercy on them and accept them among the righteous).