Fig on Fire

Photo by Y K Randall

A fig on fire is Autumn’s sweet song, as she pulls down her sap and allows the wind to carry her leaves into the earth’s lap. Her colours are a rapture to the senses as she appears to wither and die, and her branches become naked to the winter sky. She is going into retreat right down to her roots where she will hear the ancient whispers of each traveller she has refreshed with her fruits. Snow will fall and cover her nakedness as she covered Adam’s and Eve’s, then it will melt and she will drink, nourished by her modesty as she weaves. Another season’s energy and she emerges from retreat, her enlivened sap falling into the traveller’s hand, offering the sweet fruit that she has drawn from the land.


Three Things She Loves

There are three things she loves

Her prayer rug
Her prayer beads
Her prayer robe
They take her to the One
Besides Whom there is none

Her prayer rug
Flies to heights
Then bids solemn farewell
Beside Him there is none

Her prayer beads
Are Hu’s doors
Wide with love
Only His Names remain
In eternal refrain

Her prayer robe
Is His embrace
Like the womb
It contains the mercy
Of Ar-Rahman

But even her robe,
At the Lote Tree
Of the Utmost Boundary,
Flees and leaves her naked
Before the Lord
As she is cracked open
Losing every veil
That hides the One

Uniting the Opposites

It has been raining for nearly three days now with a few breaks. We are so high here that sometimes the clouds rise up from the Mediterranean and wrap themselves around us. When I looked out last night nothing could be seen but a few house lights hanging in the dense mist. Earlier on I heard a few rumbles of thunder but the storm did not come our way. It was a pleasant synchronicity today that while reading Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani’s ‘The Secret of Secrets’ I came across the following ayat (verses) from the Qur’an which he introduces like this (translated by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti):

“Two of the four elements are earth and water, which are responsible for the growth of faith and of knowledge, give life to the living and appear in the heart as humbleness, for earth is humble. The other two elements are fire and ether. They are the opposites of earth and water. They burn, destroy, kill. It is the Divine that unites these opposites in one being. How do water and fire coexist? How are light and darkness contained within the clouds?

It is He Who shows you lightning, causing both fear and hope; it is He Who raises up the clouds heavy with rain.

Nay, thunder repeats His praises, and so do the angels, with awe. He flings the loud-voiced thunderbolts and therewith strikes whomsoever He will … (Sura Ra’d 12, 13)