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May 9, 2020

There’s a visitor knocking on my front door, asking if it can come inside. It is Ramadan.

Ramadan has come to stay with us for a month. This visit was scheduled a year ago but somehow I forgot to prepare for it. 

I am standing on the other side of the door, with my hand on the handle, wondering how I can allow this noble month to enter.

I am sick… plagued by fatigue and worry. I haven’t felt like myself in weeks. The sleepless nights have impacted my ability to move and get things done. I have been shielding myself from the world behind the tall walls of this fortress. Tending only to the necessary to survive the day.

This is my state.

As Ramadan waits with patience outside my door, I am looking around my home in a panic. How do I let it in? Where will it sit? Will it see my chaos and judge the pile of laundry that grows by the hour? The unplayed toys scattered around the floor? The buried sofa, hidden under books and stray crayons?

This is the state of my home.

If only I had some extra time to…

My thoughts are interrupted as Ramadan politely knocks again.

I turn the knob and reluctantly open the door.

Ramadan does not ask and enters my home boldly.

I stand to the side, head bowed down in embarrassment.

I feel unready to welcome guests right now. Especially one as esteemed as Ramadan.

Ramadan examines the unbecoming of my living space. It walks over to a fallen chair and straightens it. It then settles into the chair and awaits. 

There is unpleasant silence.

After a few awkward moments pass, Ramadan asks how I’ve been.

I don’t know why but tears begin to surge and over-spill from the dam of my resolve. 

I have no words but my eyes spell out my story.

I want to say that I am sick. I am sick with the overwhelm of living through a global pandemic. And this sickness has made me ill physically, emotionally and spiritually. But I don’t.

Ramadan remains sitting and doesn’t say a word.

After the flow from my eyes transforms into droplets, I clear my throat and begin to speak.

“I’m sorry for the mess, I’ve been v…” Ramadan swiftly motions it’s hand for me to stop and so I do. 

We sit again in stark silence.

It asks again how I’ve been. 

I take a deep breath. I move the books off the seat of my sofa and sit down.

Ramadan and I are now sitting face to face in an unsightly room ready to engage in a profound conversation. 

“I’m not well,” I reveal.

“Then I have come at the perfect time,” it tells me.

-Tumkeen

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