Monday, January 09, 2006

Hajj, Then and Now

Pilgrims used to put out to sea
in little boats, at the mercy of wind and rain,
putting their lives in God's hands.
Sailing was not a science, but an art,
risky business, crossing an ocean...

Land was safer, most agree
(but remember, this was before cars and trains).
Endless miles on foot or by donkey caravan.
Chancy wells, sometimes unreliable charts
could defeat any human precaution.

Now we travel more comfortably
(or faster, anyway) by plane.
There, where the holy city stands
freeways help pilgrims arrive and depart.
We live in the Age of Motion.

The journey's shorter than it used to be.
These things remain:
burning wind off desert sands,
upwelling joy in pilgrim hearts,
sweet water and deep devotion.

9 comments:

rwellsrwells said...

but the length of the inner journey remains the same... Thanks for the poem.

Just Jen said...

neat poem...it made me think of when plagues were on the ships and it was so dangerous!
I just can't imagine traveling with a donkey caravan...

Anonymous said...

A journey is still a journey, the end is worth it. Enjoyed reading your way of telling it.

Marcia (MeeAugraphie)

Preethi said...

Vivid Expression.. and though the journey has changed the devotion has remained the same....very nice

Mary Timme said...

What a neat way of expressing the eternal things. I enjoyed every sentence and saviored it.

jeques said...

A beautiful contemplative piece perfect and timely for this season ~ how pilgrimage evolved like everything else as described. Now and then, a simple reason why we should be grateful of the advancement in travel. The journey enriches us more than the destination. the journey we take from then to now is also a pilgrimage and we are enriched. I hope we arrive safe and filled with wisdom.

Here's a journey I took for 34 years to "My First Snow."

http://jeques.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/my-first-snowre-posted-for-writers-island/

I wish you well this season.

~ Jeques

tumblewords said...

A lovely re-telling! Best to you!

SweetTalkingGuy said...

A man who lives near me has recently returned from a pilgrimage to Mecca - he seems to have this upwelling of joy in his heart.

forgetfulone said...

I really enjoyed your take on the prompt "This Season." The pilgrimage to Mecca is a fascinating topic.