Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Magic of Dawn

I woke up in a flurry. My alarm clock had failed to go off at 6:30 as I had set it and was now showing the time to be 11:20. How can that be? Did I miss my morning 9:30 workshop? Will I still make it in time if I speed walk to college? A hundred questions all at once as I fumbled out of bed and grabbed the nearest watch. Squinting, it was not 8 o'clock yet. Closing my eyes, I sunk my head back into the pillow and drifted into a mental oblivion. My clock's battery needs changing again but the sun has already risen and I had missed the dawn prayer.

The rest of the morning was not quite the same. I had missed out on the magical beginning to a new day. That time of day when every being is letting out a breath of freshness. A crispness that surrounds the air and a stillness that precedes the daily motions of the sunrise. I missed out on my daily morning closeness to God. My means of speaking to Him and feeling Him acknowledge my thanks, my dreams and my wishes for the day in return. I had missed out on being part of a celebration of all those who join together to witness the magic of creating a new day. There is a unique feeling of peace that envelopes you after you have finished the dawn prayer. No matter what you do afterwards, whether it is a short nap, an early breakfast or reading a book, I would always feel protected and nurtured for the rest of the day.

It was a habit I had coached myself into for a number of years now. Set the alarm and get up for the dawn prayer even if living in a country where the muezzin* was gracious enough to have his voice heard, calling you to prayer:

"...Make haste towards worship,
Make haste towards true success,
Prayer is better than sleep..."

I made it my own responsibility to make sure I got out of bed. It was those words that would be an instant reminder to urge me out of the warmth and cosiness of my bed. Afterwards, I would find myself to be disciplined and at peace for the rest of the day. I would observe how I would face difficulties and daily calamities with grace because I felt nurtured at a spiritual level. I would feel that I had the strength and courage to face the hurdles that life tends to throw at you because I had communicated with The Creator.

Dawn. My most special time of the day when light first disperses the darkness. It brings with it the promise of opportunities and the chances to achieve. How can one not join in a prayer of hope for what is to come.

*Muezzin : a person, usually at a mosque, who calls out to prayer five times a day.

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