Yester-day I attended a funeral.
This was not my first funeral. Yet there is something so gripping about funerals that makes you feel like every time is your first, until ‘your’ first funeral becomes your last.
We drove to nowhere. The land of the dead. The cemetery. Humility was the only air that filled our nostrils. It seems as if the earth prides herself with this day. The day when the bottom of our feet cease to meet her face and she takes on her commanded duties to swallow us. The land of the dead stretched to the horizon as if reaching for help. But the sky only rose canopying above us as we all silently acknowledged our weaknesses in unison.
A rectangle was so artistically yet disturbingly cut into the earth. A mouth. Waiting to be fed. Waiting for a lifetime. Literally. The height x width x length only mattered to the grave digger as much as it did not matter to whom the grave was dug for. The crowd slowly grew as more friends and family and strangers came to bid a man farewell and ask Allāh to have mercy on him for the last time in his presence. In his absence. The paradox. At present, it was humble stares that filled the empty mouth. But you can not buy the earth’s hunger with humility. Not today. Today, Humility is a voucher expired.
The sky was clear, metaphorically telling us, “There is nothing to hide,” or maybe she was saying, “There is nothing you can hide.” Either way, she was saying something. Allāh was trying to tell us something. Its just that, not often do we listen. Beautiful are they who listen to nature without a funeral.
Sometimes it takes more than ourselves to know ourselves. So, we were given nature. We were given trees and lonely streams. We were given bleeding sunsets and envious winds. Just to help guide us up. So, the up, can guide us down. Humility. For the height in a depth, inevitably, leads to a depth in height.
Today, the only form of lowliness and humility the earth will accept is to be above you the same height you stood above her. 5feet. 6feet. 7feet. Even to nature is justice.
My father used to tell me, “You will know a man by the people who attend his funeral.”