The Blog

Easing Into Uneasiness

Okay, I have a confession.  I don’t always love nature.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to!  I want to be that girl who can strap on a backpack and go camping in the woods for a week.  Or the girl who hikes through the dessert all day to find the best spot to see the sun set.  I am just not that girl.  I’m the girl who starts sweating when it’s 78 degrees outside.  The one who really hates the feel of sand under her fingernails at the beach.  The one who struggles to keep up on even the gentlest of hikes.  The one who just learned what sea-sickness is like (gross story, you don’t want to hear it).

But.  I’m also the girl who keeps going out there anyway.  Standing on the beach feeling renewed as the salt from the ocean hits my nose.  Walking through the woods and gasping at the beauty of the trees.  Going to the farmer’s market on the hottest day of the year to buy peaches with my neighbors.  Maybe not getting back on that sailboat, though…

This crazy heat that we’ve had recently has put me in the frame of mind that we need to learn how to be comfortable in an uncomfortable position.  A good friend of mine is a yoga instructor and explains to her students that it is only through discomfort that we grow.  She tells them to be gentle on themselves, to notice that they are uncomfortable without judgment.  To sit in it and become fully aware of their bodies.  This advice works whether you are trying to perfect a difficult yoga pose or just convincing yourself to leave the apartment on a hot sticky day.

Ramadan is nearly upon us, and (let’s be honest, people) we will be uncomfortable.  We will be thirsty and tired and hungry and hot.  And it will be okay.  It always is.  We can notice our discomfort without judgment and give thanks that we are alive feel it.

What about you guys?  Is there anything in nature that feels difficult for you, or are you the “give me some hiking boots and I’m out the door!” type?  How do you get beyond your fears to better connect to the natural world?

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Teresa Kane is an ESOL teacher at a nearby elementary school.

Green in 30 Minutes or Less…

“A list of the town’s biggest water wasters, and the only non-laundromat on here is… hold on to your turbans…Mercy Mosque!”

My friend, let’s call him M. Rafique, or maybe Muizz R. is less obvious, got me started on watching “Little Mosque on the Prairie,” the widely publicized Canadian Muslim sitcom. After watching a few episodes here and there, a few questions came to mind. Namely: Are Muslims or Canadians cornier? And what about Muslim Canadians?

But there are some moments which offer a unique window into Muslim communities in the West which are worth viewing. One episode in particular I thought was relevant to post here. The movement to create a uniquely (North) American Muslim culture is an organic and ever developing process. Same too for the burgeoning Muslim environmental movement. In the episode pasted above, the two intersect for a TV experience that some would say is before its time. But for most of us, its long overdue.

While “Little Mosque” may have all the trappings of a Muslim camp skit, it has done a decent job of tackling a variety of issues related to the still growing Muslim community. Here, the issue of abusive wudu practices will hit home for anyone who has waded through damp, mildewy wudu areas before. By the time the end credits roll, the mosque is greened, and made handicapped accessible to boot.

If only all Muslim issues could be dealt with so effectively in half an hour time slots…

Gawd Blezzum

“Actions are only according to intentions, and to each only what he intended.”

(taken @ a local mosque)