The Old Will Be Lost In The New

Lost in muddled thoughts, memories, and contemplations, I use my fingers to decide that this is the sixth Muslim country I have been to. Palestine is the second I have attempted to call home. But saying that makes me giggle. Because, living the life I have so far, I know that you don't decide where you will call home - that is out of your control.

All of these different countries have meant different things to me. Some felt like a warm embrace, others felt like hot tears of humility streaming down my flushed cheeks.

I remember the way my heart raced the first time I heard the Call to Prayer. Looking back now, I'm amused at the combination of brash confidence I possessed combined with the influences I had unknowingly allowed to become apart of my conception of the world.

The Call to Prayer is an aspect of Islam that quickly grew on me. I remember vowing, in a hot, itchy top-bunk hostel bed in Bosnia that I would one day learn the words that echo out from the loudspeaker five times a day. I vowed to learn the intricacies of this foreign ritual. Like an eager child, I wanted to know everything about this new novelty.

This vow has slipped through the years unfulfilled. Now, as I sit here, listening to the Call ring out throughout my neighbourhood, I realize I am glad I don't know what the words mean. There is nothing more sweet or calming, to me, than listening to, and being surrounded by, the poetic melodies of life that you don't understand. The Call to Prayer remains one of these special rarities for me.

I have found myself connecting deeply with these five Calls since arriving here in Palestine. The morning Call enters my room before the sunlight in a way that makes me feel enveloped in warmth and inexplicably safe. I make a cup of coffee, grab my journal and come to the patio to reconnect. Or disconnect. Or maybe just to connect at all. The stars in the sky shine down on me and I smile to myself at the simple absurdity that words I can not understand, shouted through a loudspeaker have brought me so much peace - especially at 4:30am.

So far in this life, I have been terrified and drunk off life and its chaos. I have unlearned a lot of ingrained habit and adopted others and called them my own. But something I have not often been in this life is simply... calm.

I smile when I hear the Call to Prayer bounce off the sun-bleached buildings of this city. I smile because for some odd reason, it feels like the universe is winking at me and because of that, I sleep better than I have in years.