Dew Point

This blog is dedicated to sharing my every-day discoveries of how the light and beauty of Islamic spirituality can be part of a modern, well-rounded way of life.


February 2012

A houseplant I named Hope

I woke up this morning and decided to name one of my houseplants Amal, the Arabic word meaning ‘hope’. This plant, a variety of yucca if I am not mistaken, has been nameless since the day I bought it from a moving sale more than six years ago. But today, I realised how much she deserved this designation.

For most of the last six years, Amal has seemed to be on her last legs. Her leaves would consistently wilt at the tips to a dry crisp or sometimes turn entirely yellow, even if I wasn’t over-watering it. Unable to re-generate, one leaf would die and another would not grow in its place, leaving the trunk unusually bare compared with when I bought it.

I tried various plant foods, all of which failed to give her a renewed lease on life. If I thought perhaps she was getting too much sun, I would move her to a more shady area of the apartment, and vice versa. Nothing seemed to work. If anything, the more attention I paid, the worse her condition would become. While my other houseplant has grown to become lush, this one seemed to remain limp, barely clinging onto life. She somehow managed to hobble her way through the years, dormant and unchanged unless to further deplete.

Continue reading “A houseplant I named Hope”

Tunes for a lifetime

Long before YouTube gave us instant access to all of our favourite music, my older sister and I would wait for the videos of our preferred artists to appear on televised music countdowns and record them on a videocassette so we could watch them over and over again. We would replay the tunes on the family room VCR and, along with our younger sister, often try to mimic the notes and dance moves of our most-loved musicians.

When I learned of Whitney Houston’s death yesterday, my mind almost instantly turned to that videotape because there was a song of hers that we had recorded on it and, at one stage when I was about 13-14 years old, I watched it repeatedly. It was called “Miracle”.  The holding power a great song has over the course of one’s lifetime is remarkable. Hearing it, we instantly tune back to the moment its effect was most palpable.

Whitney’s immaculate, powerful voice singing the lyrics as she sat in what appeared as a deserted auditorium, juxtaposed with photographs of young people in various contexts of struggle and success, left an impression on me at a time in my life when I was searching for guidance. Continue reading “Tunes for a lifetime”

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