Sunday, May 4, 2008

Twelfth Day of Ridvan

Today there was a celebration of the Twelfth Day of Ridvan, a Baha’i holy day which falls on May 2nd. The festival of Ridvan marks the time when Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, proclaimed to all the assembled followers of his fore-runner The Bab that he was the promised one who had been foretold, not only by The Bab, but by other messengers of God as well, like Christ and Muhammad. I’m sharing all this because although I am 100% sure that I knew that already, I feel like I am re-learning a lot of things when I present them to the children I am being blessed to interact with as I help teach children’s classes. It reaffirms my belief that I learn more about a subject as I teach it to others, as opposed to being “schooled” on it myself. I have found this true in other activities, like Reiki. And the steps. The repetition of the knowledge contained within these types of processes releases almost like a timed capsule, letting more and more out as I continue using it.

It was a small group of people, with the children outnumbering the adults. Three families in attendance were Baha’is, out of the five that I have met. The other adults were parents of children in the classes or friends. We also picked up a group of children from the village who come to children’s classes sporadically, as far as I can tell. These kids, as well as a lot of the other ones too, are pretty shy around me. It’s getting a little better with some of them as they see me more than once, and I’m starting to develop relationships with them as I remember their names and talk with them a little. We enjoyed searching for shells and other treasures on the beach. A couple of the children found crab shells. One of the local boys and I searched for skipping stones and spent our time skipping rocks across the relatively calm cove.

Prior to the beach combing, we had a short “play” where the children gave the audience the basic idea of the purpose of Ridvan-which was what the garden was named where Baha’u’llah revealed his purpose, it means paradise-and passed out the tissue paper roses we spent the past few weeks making and sang some songs. And of course, we ate wonderfully. They have a local sweet potato that is purple. Someone made a huge bowl of mashed, purple sweet potatoes…interesting! But a wonderful day!

Since some of you may not now, I rented an apartment this week. It is a spacious two bedroom place with a large living room, kitchen and bathroom. It’s one of three on the second floor of a building, where the bottom floor is actually the home of the owners. Their family owns much of the land around this building, which just happens to be along a wonderful gravel road that has an amazing scenic view as you travel down it. Runners travel from all over the island to use the road for the routes. I drove it partially when Carmen was here, it leads to a beach at Lau Lau Bay, and rightly so since it is named Lau Lau Bay Drive. The map actually shows the bay as Lao Lao, that’s probably right. But I walked a ways down the road on Friday evening when I came home around 5 pm. I had already asked the landlord if I could take their dog with me when I went, and she said that would be great. They have a gangly black dog that looks like a five month old lab puppy. I’m not sure about the age, and it is doubtful that he is fully lab, but he has a sweet demeanor, and does not fit his name yet-Thunder. We set out and although he did a fair amount of going ahead, jumping up on my side and criss-crossing in front and behind of me, I was pretty impressed by his ready acquiescence to my wishes and commands. He walked along side me for the majority of the trip, which turned in to an hour long walk down the road until I found the first definite path to the beach, and then we walked as far along that as we could. I didn’t take him off the chain I was using as a leash, because he spends his time chained up outside, but mainly because I didn’t want to have to explain to my landlord why their Thunder was now a boonie dog when he didn’t obey me. I got the feeling that he is extremely intelligent, with that same eager-to-please quality that I am blessed to see in so many dogs. He just needs a little time to realize that I am one of the people he wants to please, a process that will take some time and lots of walks, especially since I don’t provide the food or water that cements a dog’s loyalty to its master. When we got back, Henry told me that was the first time that Thunder had ever been walked! I have permission to take him whenever I want, and I’m looking forward to getting Thunder to follow me into the ocean soon. There was one very strange thing that I noticed. During our hour long walk, Thunder never peed or pooped once. He’s not fixed, and there was a period where he exhibited the signs of smelling around and circling like he was about to do something, but he never did it. I watched him after I chained him back up, and he did pee eventually. He sometimes pees a little bit from the excitement of seeing a person walk towards him. And although I would do every thing possible to avoid chaining up a dog outside, he has a doghouse, he has owners that care for and nourish him, and now he has me to go for walks with. He sure is a scrawny thing though. I’ll take some pictures of him soon. Pictures of the apartment are already up. I need to get settled in and unpacked (good luck!) so that I can invite some people over and have dinner.

I did something really neat today after the Ridvan celebration, but I think I’ve written enough for now. It’s just past midnight on Saturday, now Sunday morning my time, which by the way is the same as Australia time (GMT+10) which means it is 10:20 am Saturday morning on the east coast. I won’t get to post this until I get up later…thanks for reading.


ryran said...

re Ridvan & kids: That's all so cool to hear. You rock.
(Mmmm. Purple mashed potatoes...*makes homer-lusting-sound*)

re new lab-ish Thunderdog friend: That's awesome. I can't wait to hear how this turns out.. heh.

Something really neat, eh? Don't forget.

ksawhill said...

I loved hearing about the dog walk! It's so mundane, like part of your life. What a gift that is for you and for Thunder. Do you have to change the name of your blog now?
Love, mom