Oscar Wilde once said the final mystery of man is oneself. We are so concerned with understanding the world, even others around us, that we oft forget to pause time to understand ourselves. Life takes over, the rollercoaster doesn’t stop. School, university, work, family, or not, mortgage, retirement, pension..on and on it goes – where are we meant to find the time to simply stop. To pause. To contemplate ourselves in it all. There is so much we could learn from babies, if we only took time again to pause and to see. Unblinkered by a desire to fit into the world around them, free from the confines of societal ‘us’ they’re free to just be, and being they are. Watching my son the past months has changed my perspective on life, reawakened the channels this life had turned to mute. M is aware only of the mystery of self and he knows it. Is aware of it. More importantly, is in control of it.
You see it in the way he studies his nails. Shows them to me. He sees the magic in their continual growth, starts to comprehend the damage they can do.
You see it in the way his body responds to the music around. Involuntary, unselfconscious movements, starting with his hips, spreading to his knees and finally his hands. His heart hears the beat, his soul responds, his body answers the call. He smiles, satisfied.
In Islam, we learn from the worlds of Allah swt and the doings of our Prophet pbuh. We follow our scripture, try to mould out our actions from the guidance we’ve been gifted from our Creator, our God. As I watch M, its with wonder I realise he doesn’t need those guides now, he knows them innately. As he shares all he has, gives his love unconditioned and free, expresses his feelings with no hint of true knowledge his awareness is clear. He is following a guidance unseen to my eye, his spirit is guided by a hand way up high.
You see it in the joy a new texture can bring and the fear a strange sound will trigger.
You feel it in his exploration of the world, no task hints of boredom, no new skill uncharted. Fingers click, lips blow bubbles, toes reach his mouth. Everyday exploration, every new hour a new world.
A favourite Rumi quote, to cling to, to aspire toward is the field of awareness we’re all looking for, aware or not. “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.” Children are aware only of this field, not the concrete walls around it. We can learn a lot from them. Perhaps I should push my books aside and look to my son for the channel of true awareness which I seek. Perhaps I need only study my son, absorb in the innocence of his being, watch and learn as he discovers himself. Perhaps it is in our children, through their being, we discover our own. Perhaps they are our silent pirouettes.