I ended up going to Khane yesterday. The funny thing is that I wasn’t planning to go, but guess what? The dance studio I really like to go to is only a few steps away from downtown Khane, literally.
I arrived at the studio earlier than I thought I would, and I had about half an hour before my class. So I walked into Khane just after first Du’a had started. And I sat downstairs, near the door, so I could make a quick getaway.
I know that sounds bad. It’s not that I wanted to get out of there, or that I didn’t enjoy any of it. But I have to take baby steps in getting into going there regularly, so I don’t overwhelm myself. And I didn’t want to be late for dance class.
This is the second time I have done this- gone into Khane before class. I go in dressed very casually, but it works just fine at Drake. I like that non-pretentiousness about the Khane in downtown. It’s a nice feeling too, to not put any pressure on myself to have to sit upstairs in the prayer hall. I just sit on the chairs downstairs, and end up sitting next to interesting people who either have little babies, or are unable to get up the stairs as easily, or maybe, like me, they like to sit away from the rest of the crowd.
Yesterday, there was a man who sat next to me with the cutest little girl. She was clinging on to him with her tiny little hands, and her little feet were all warm and cosy, covered up in the most adorable pink slippers/socks. I just kept thinking about how you would have loved to play with her. Little kids always made your face light up. And kids seemed to like you too.
There was also this older man sitting closer to the door. When he came in, he took off this thick woolen toque with a kind of native print on it. And under the toque, he had a very bald, shiny head.
I also noticed younger girls come in- in their teens and twenties. And some of them wore beautiful beige or black heels, while others were in comfy runners. Some had perfectly streaked hair- gold and deep browns and reds highlighting their heads. While others had nose rings or jeans on. I loved the variety of people and outfits that walked through. There was no set way of what you should look like or how dressy or not you had to be. The feeling was just come as you are. And that’s what I did.
You would have been proud of me, Mom. I didn’t cry once during the Du’as this time. I did think of you every moment I was in there, more than I already do each day. And that is a lot, trust me. But I tried to just soak in the details of what was around me, just be in the moment, rather than getting down on myself for not concentrating or not sticking it out until the end. Oh yeah, I kind of left in mid tasbih, I guess you could call it? See, I don’t even know the terms. I think it might have been Chandraat yesterday, because everything was more delayed and more involved than a usual khane day. And I could have sworn they said something about Chandraat majilis in one of the announcements, but again, I could totally be wrong. I haven’t been keeping up on what is happening on which day.
I felt badly for leaving before it was done, but I was glad I went at all. And I think that is what I am going to keep in mind- the small steps I take to just surround myself with a little bit of that spiritual peace amidst the surroundings of the faith I grew up in. It did take dance to get me there. And you, I’m sure. But if it wasn’t for my dance class being so close, and being at such an optimum time for me to get to khane quickly beforehand, I would probably not have been there.
It seemed silly for me NOT to go, the way the universe planned it like this. Dance Me Free. That’s the name of my blog. Dance is even bringing me spiritual freedom, bringing me close to our place of prayer, giving me more incentive to sit with “my peeople” -haha!- (too funny, because anyone who knows me knows that “my people” are not restricted by any race, religion, colour or culture. I am so fascinated by diversity and multiculturalism. But, you get what I mean, I think) and connect with your strong beliefs. To connect with you.
Who knew that Dance would bring me more spirituality not just from its healing and its powerful movement of energy, but also bringing me back to my childhood place of prayer.
Although I was a little late for class, I am sure that something about the peace and prayers that I spent in during that half an hour at Khane, somehow got me more connected and at peace in my dance class, in my dancing, definitely in my body, and in the moment.
I told the owners of the dance studio that you, my mother, probably is thanking them for choosing that location for a studio. For helping me to find my way back “home” in some sense.
Thank you, Mom. You were and always will be my home. So really, I am just always trying to find my way back to you and your spirit. I will try to still be open to allowing Khane to be one of the avenues that will get me there.