My parents are in Haifa, Israel now. They are on a pilgrimage to holy sites of the Baha’i Faith, on Mount Carmel and in Acre, across the bay.
I can smell the jasmine floating on the gentle breeze now. It fills me with sweet sacred longing. I left my heart there in Bahji, on the threshold of the Shrine of Baha’u’llah, years ago. After 40 years of imprisonment and exile, the Founder of my Faith died still a Prisoner because He taught that, “the earth is one country and mankind its citizens.” This was not a popular sentiment among the religious and secular authorities of the Ottoman and Persian regimes, and His tremendous influence on the hearts and minds of all with whom He came into contact did not serve their personal interests.
More than a hundred years after His death, I brought my heart, used and broken, to His doorstep and laid it there. Who better to care for it than One who taught us that our hearts are His home, and that our very existence is due to His love for us?
So my parents have visited, and will again visit tomorrow, this spot. I asked them to say a prayer for me, but as my heart is already there, it is already uttering a prayer.
My prayer is that I can write pieces that educate, inspire and move. It is a prayer of gratitude for every joy and anguish that my children give me, for through them I learn what it is to be whole and growing. It is a prayer that sustains me when the black sea of grief threatens to engulf me, and when passions threaten to blow me off my course.
The article I am researching involves the disconnect between parents and children, and even teachers and their students, about the vast amounts of learning occurring (or not) on the internet. My children steep in a digital brew, and have been since their babyhood. I didn’t start using a computer until I was a senior in high school, well beyond my formative years. Though I have become fairly computer literate as the online editor for a regional magazine, I am awed and even daunted by the array of possibilities for digital learning. My son is excited and engaged when he’s learning online, and he’s not when he’s at school. What can I do to help him? What can his teachers do?
I want to do this piece justice because it might help other parents, and even some teachers, understand how we can connect and share learning with glorious, dazzling efficiency, speed and authenticity. If I can do that then I have been on purpose. And that is my constant prayer.