Sunday, June 01, 2014
Lately I find myself walking through our little neighborhood right about 5:45p.m. I should be walking in the morning too but getting out of bed keep interfering with that. Lots of folks are gone right now in my neighborhood and I have vague responsibilities to 3 different houses. One friend I got down and check on her dog and househelp a few days a week. One friend, I just pay her houseworker once a month. One friend, I pay the houseworker and be the point of reference should something come up (it really probably won't). As I come home from my friend's house who lives in the housing complex, I walk up the hill into our old traditional neighborhood- the local word is kampung- and the neighborhood is everything that that word sounds like when you say. Its old. The houses are becoming more modern but the same ole' families live in them with their kids, grandkids and in some cases aunts and uncles. But as I walk past the blacksmith shop, evening call to prayer rings out. And little kids in varying states of dress come skittering out. Some have had their evening bath and are in their jammies, big puff of white powder to keep them fresh and dry on their forehead. Some are running through with their head coverings making for the faucet to wash before prayer. Men come in their sarong man skirts. The men don't rush, they amble. Ladies pull up the rear after their kids are already on their way. They've just come out of the bath too and have their headscarf all ready in place, prayer mats draped over an arm. The doors of the houses are closed. That is odd- front doors are nearly never closed but when the neighborhood empties into the one room mosque, the front door close. TVs and lights are left on, they won't be gone too long. 15 minutes or so of prayer and then they'll scoot back home. Reversing the process. Kids and ladies first, the ladies need to make dinner. Men still ambling, pulling slowly on an unnoticed cigarette. And for me, I'm not going to mosque. Just walking by in the last rays of sunset, listening to the familiar "ALLAH AKBAR. ALLAH AKBAR" sung by one of the neighborhood men. Some with soothing voices. Some punch the sunset. The same familiar rhythm. And I, as I walk by, say indeed God is good. And I'm thankful for my neighborhood. And I'm thankful for simple beauties. And I'm reminded of the world in neighborhood and pray for fresh revelation.