I wake up before the sunrise to get ready to go to the Masjid (mosque). In the five minutes’ drive from my home to the Masjid I see some people running while it is still pitch-dark. I call them crazy but at the same time admire their dedication. I think to myself what makes some people want to wake up before the dawn and do something they are not forced to do.
Fajr prayer is the first of the five mandatory prayers. Two rows of Muslim men- Arabs, Asians, Africans, Americans and Europeans- pray behind a Somali Imam. We listen with reverence while the Imam recites verses from the Quran in his enchanting and modulated voice.
After the prayer I go to Starbucks for my dose of American coffee. But it is not just the coffee that I crave. It is the scene of people entering the coffee shop; mothers coming for alone time after sending their children to school. Both blue and white collar workers coming for a sip of caffeine before their 8 hour shift. Senior retired couples come maybe not for the coffee but to celebrate their love and life. Sometimes I see middle age men buying their coffee and sitting for hours. Some read newspapers others try to chat with other customers. I wonder how long they have been without work. This place is their refuge from home. For some unemployed men being out is the best way to not think about their problems and to maintain their sanity. Sometimes I see a father with his daughter; they spend a couple of hours in the coffee shop. He is on his computer and she draws things. The little girl asks her father to see her drawings every time she draws an object. Today is his turn to see his daughter and spend some time with her. Divorce is an ugly thing.
While invading peoples’ space with my thoughts, I receive a couple of pictures from my sister via WhatsApp. In one picture my brother-in-law with his daughter and two sons laughing. In another picture my nephews and niece on their bicycles smiling. I can hear them giggling. An instant snapshot of a happy moment sent from 6,000 miles away.
While smiling back to the pictures, I receive a phone call from my mother. She is so happy with her new high-tech skill. Who would imagine you can make free international phone calls now. She wanted to know why I didn’t answer her FaceTime call. Gone are the days when my brother had to set up the webcam and the desktop for my parents to Skype with me.
I finish my coffee and thank God for this lovely morning.
Life is not without hurdles. Only when you know how to cherish your good moments, whatever short they are, you can overcome life’s hurdles.