It has been raining since yesterday. We’ve had monstrous thunderstorms, with heavy lightning and hail the size of golf balls!! Almost that size!! It is so damp! Even though the temperatures are in the forties, it is so dang damp, and the old bones are complaining.
I remember when the Monsoon would arrive at home, the eagerness with which we would run outside the house, to feel the first drops of rain on our tongues, and smell the raw edible fragrance of the earth. I would shake my head free of the braid and let the hair fall every which way, and on my face, and let everyone shout at me, I was without a care.  Grandmother who was not as strict as mother, would call out to me and say, “Zakiah, you better come inside the house. You shouldn’t be looking at the lightning with your naked eyes.” I would wonder what she meant by that. Naked eyes!! She told me the reason of her reprimand.
My hair, when I was young, was very light brown and gradually became dark and black. I was the only one with hair like that. Apparently very few girls had hair of that color. “There are spirits all over the place when the lightning strikes. They see a young girl with hair like yours, and they whisk you away to a far off place and get you married to a prince in a distant land!” That was grandmother’s explanation of the reprimand.  I believed her for the longest time. She was an incredible woman who would spin stories out of cobwebs and grains of sand one day, and philosophize about Rumi and Iqbal and Ghalib another day!
Beautiful nostalgia, sweet dreams of the past, they all come helter-skelter at the slightest change in the daily routine of my life. I am not sure if I miss my mother as much as I miss my grandmother. She was a role model. She used to make me smile. She left an emptiness in my heart when she stopped breathing.  She was generous as the river, bountiful as the sun, and truly, hospitable as the earth!
Weaving these dreams in the windDrops of steady rain against the window pane
Single note of a broken string
Hidden melody!
My new earth
My new sky
A million desires away
From my old earth and
My old sky!
Tying the knots of frayed dreams
Weaving in and out of the circles of wind
Echoes within the emptiness
Of an old heart!
{The above was written a couple of years back. Right now, it is not raining. It is snowing… God! how it is snowing!!

About Zakiah

I write poetry and some fiction, have a book that was published in 2012. . . Stray Thoughts/Winged Words. I have four grandchildren, ages 16 and half to almost 16 months. I love the ocean, and grew up along the Indian Ocean in South India. I am a retired physician. Don't know much else to say. Thanks for reading. That has been my profile for so many years. My daughter Saadia a great poet and story teller, has two sons; the oldest grandson is now 21 years old, doing architectural engineering at Missouri S&T in Rolla MO. His younger brother is almost 16 and taking driving lessons seriously and is in High School. The other two grandsons, children of my son Sayeed, are 9 and 5. I have recently published another book titled Gulistan, A home of Flowers. It has stories and memories of my childhood and of a distant land which I still consider as my HOME., even though I have lived here in the US for more than fifty years. Hope to see you on my blog.
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18 Responses to Nostalgia

  1. I think you have a lot of your grandmother in you. That’s a lovely poem.

    The cold spell here will be broken this weekend. It’s been brutal. I hope the damp weather you have will soon fade away. Maybe you are right – spend the winter somewhere warmer.

    • Zakiah says:

      yes! I do think I am a lot like my grandmother. And YES, if it weren’t for this wrench I threw in about my own health, I would have been in Florida at this time. Well, may be next year if all goes well.
      Got the car washed today, that’s one positive thing! It was SSSO dirty with all the yuck of the snow and stuff. The temperature is 26 now, and I am happy.
      Glad you liked the poem.

  2. mrswrangler says:

    Lovely poem. Hope you have nice weather soon.

  3. beowulf222 says:

    These are beautiful childhood memories. I think grandparents have more distance (as opposed to parents) and thus leave a bigger imprint in our memory.

    • Zakiah says:

      That is a sweet way to put the love of grand parents in perspective, me thinks. Thank you Nick. I hope I leave similar imprints on my grandchildren’s memories.

  4. slmret says:

    I love the idea of you running out into the first rains — so defiant! It never would have occurred to me to worry about watching the lightning — is that damaging to the eyes like watching the sun? Kids are so impressionable that they will believe almost any “reason” given them — I once had a friend whose family warned her of “hoop snakes” — snakes that would take their tail in their mouth to make a hoop that would then roll along the ground faster than a snake would move — a good reason not to go into the woods!

    • Zakiah says:

      Always! Always I was the first one to run out in the rain. he intense fragrance of the minerals from the earth was almost edible, and to feel the rain drops on my head was a euphoric feeling I cannot describe. Grandmother, whom I called daadibea, was an amazing lady. Taught me Arabic, and Farsi and Urdu, and was so gifted in so many things. She really was a role model.

  5. onedanyankee says:

    The weather really has been nuts, but yours seems to have been much more variable than ours. Rain, thunderstorms, lightning, hail and snow. That really is quite the mix. I like your poem and your childhood memories. It’s really neat to see when two people have a special connection like you experienced with your grandmother. Danny had that with my wife, Tina, more so than any of the other kids. I have an uncle that’s like that with me. The stories your grandma told make me smile.

    • Zakiah says:

      How good that Danny and his mother were so close. He has left behind so many precious memories in each one’s heart. I feel like I know him, from all your accounts. I too had an uncle, actually my father’s first cousin, who was an artist. I used to love to sit and watch him paint, and he would tell me so many things about his own childhood. I have to write about him sometime.
      The snow is beginning to melt. Wouldn’t you know? I washed my car of all the dirt and grime two days back when it was around 26 degrees. Now all the streets are full of yucky dirty water; I have to wash the car again.

  6. Much of your grandmother is in you. That is awesome. Loved the poem.
    Wish it would snow here. 😉 Hugs

    • Zakiah says:

      Thank you dear Elizabeth. That is such a compliment to me. I loved my grandmother so much. I hope I told her that while she was alive. It has been so long since she is gone. Thank you for liking the poem. Love and hugs to you.

  7. Yes , Zakiah, the very bad weather, the hail hitting the windows, brings back memories of our loved ones who are now gone and puts us in this very special interior state called nostalgia.
    Love ❤

  8. What wonderful memories! And such a beautiful poem, SweetZ!
    Your grandmother sounds like a wise, loving, caring, enchanting person…as are you! 🙂 Grandparents are such important people in the lives of children. 🙂
    I think nostalgia has a sweetness to it and it paints a smile on the face of our past. 🙂
    I am a run-out-in-the-rain person. Always have been. I still go out to welcome the rain when it begins to fall to the earth. 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  9. r_hsw says:

    yeah. my late grandmother from my dad side was a formidable woman. very much an able woman. she could do many things. she was a generous woman, a very good cook, a tough yet sociable person, and she even drove us grandkids on a trip once (she didn’t have a license). miss her.

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