Increasing Love (Fast Journal Days 4-6)

Tuesday, 3:05 pm

The kids have just gleefully bounded out the door to enjoy our balmy (if a bit windy) 63 degree day. So I have a few quiet moments to reflect a bit. There’s a good chance I’ll get a little philosophical on you here. Perhaps incoherently. Watch out. This lady’s been fasting. 🙂

I came across this quote about the Fast in an e-mail today, and it really struck me. 

“These are the days of the Fast. Blessed is the one who through the heat generated by the Fast increaseth his love, and who, with joy and radiance, ariseth to perform worthy deeds.” – Bahá’u’lláh

Much to munch on here. First, “the heat generated by the Fast” –  that wording makes me ponder a bit. It reminds me of part of a poem by Rumi (13th century Persian mystic poet – I’ve posted a bit of his poetry before): 

There’s hidden sweetness in the stomach’s emptiness.
We are lutes, no more, no less. If the soundbox
is stuffed full of anything, no music.
If the brain and belly are burning clean
with fasting, every moment a new song comes out of the fire.
The fog clears, and new energy makes you
run up the steps in front of you.

This notion of burning, heat, fire . . . it’s such a powerful description of what your body and soul are doing when you fast. I mean, there must be a reason for the physical part of fasting. It’s not like you can’t work on being more spiritual if you’re not fasting. But there’s an ancient wisdom in it, it seems. Perhaps it’s something with the mind-body-spirit relationship. Perhaps it’s an energy thing.

It’s all a bit mysterious and mystifying, to be honest. I’m quite a practical person, and I lean toward the logical in many ways. I’m not sure there’s anything logical in the idea of fasting, beyond the metaphor of the lute in the poem. I mean, it’s not like you can scientifically prove that fasting is spiritually beneficial. This is a place where poetry speaks much more plainly than prose and gives words to an experience that is difficult to describe.

More on that later. My time is short and I’m tangenting (totally not a real word, but it should be). 

So we’re to use this heat, this fire in our souls generated from fasting, to increase our love. That wording also makes me ponder. I don’t know that I usually think of love as something I can increase. I guess I sort of feel like it’s just there, not something I have much control over. Then again, there’s that question of whether love is a feeling or an action or both. Definitely can increase the action, but maybe increasing the feeling is possible, too. 

And, the kids are back and begging to make peanut butter bars. 

Wednesday, 7:53 am

I came back to finish my thoughts this morning, but I’m now wrangling a 3-year-old who has a seemingly inexhaustible need to snuggle. 

It’s a tricky business this balancing life and family with trying to better oneself. 🙂 So I’m off to give some lovin’ to my wee one. I love my kids beyond measure, but I could probably be better about showing that to them more clearly. Maybe that’s a good place to start. Increasing the love. Here we go.

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

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