"Strive that your actions day by day may be beautiful prayers."*
Like the gardener,
who has waited eight years and two declined visas to lay her hands here,
and she exhales a deep sigh when her fingertips push into the soil for the first time.
She bows her head,
at rest in these flower beds.
Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá fills her body and cascades into the air…
It reaches a young man sweeping little traces of khamsin off the stairs. He joins the prayer.
Looks up at the Corinthian columns with humility and honour;
remembers his father, who never quite made it to Mt. Carmel but sent his first born,
and loved ones tell him he’s adorned
with his daddy’s eyes, so he makes sure to look around a lot!
Every morn, he scans the Arc farther and farther.
Can you see where your love has traveled to father?
A maidservant sees through the window,
connects with their eyes and their supplications.
She sits at her desk, knowing every click beneath her wrists assists the friends in the field.
Long hours spent with documents in email or in print have an effect.
She pays her respects, knowing the believers who have arisen before her to assist the Head of the Cause,
and those in Iran who are unable to journey but still move us forward with their sacrificial ways;
developing in the Cradle of the Faith.
Soon her cradles
will hold children who might too travel to distant lands offering diligence and selfless aid,
like the youth travelling through the hallway,
who joins with thoughts filled of the Prophet’s truth;
counsels about what a good tree can bear: beautiful fruit,
on a platter well-prepared,
each peeled and sliced in the kitchen with care.
And, giving all the gratitude that one is able,
placed on Institution members’ tables.
Where they sit
with their eyes toward the Shrines,
breathing in the calm pulse of the believers
breathing out guidance Divine.
"Our Dearly Beloved Friends”,
never forget the spirit within
this, verily, transcends.
*quote by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
poetry by Andrea Hope
photo by BlakeRead