9. “Slower” (The Hajj Journal)

A clock sitting in the middle of a traffic circle.

September 12, 2015

Life moves at a different pace here. It’s almost like time is slower. I’m sitting in the courtyard of the Prophet’s mosque, and almost everyone seems to walk at just a tad slower pace then back home. I recently came from the shopping centre, and even there it’s not nearly as frantic or hectic as, say, West Edmonton Mall. People rarely seem to be in a rush here –even when crossing the street into oncoming traffic.


The pace of life is different in Medina. It’s hard to describe. But if anyone has ever told you that time moves slower in Medina, they’re right. In Canada, everyone always seems to be in a rush. Everyone needs to get from Point A to Point B as fast as they can, and that’s it. But over there, it feels like you can get from Point A to Point Z on your own time, with a whole alphabet of moments for you to discover in between.

This change of pace was very humbling. In fact, it’s probably one of the best gifts I brought back with me. I used to live a Point A to Point B kind of life. All that mattered was the destination, not the moments in between. On many of my trips to the Rocky Mountains, if wanted to be in awe of something, I let my camera capture the moment for me so I could revel in it later. But the camera can only capture what the eye sees and not what the heart feels. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but how you feel is what stays with you. That’s partly why I chose not to take pictures when Hajj started.

In Medina, my time there was like a low burn of constant awe and amazement. Sometimes I would just let myself absorb the beauty of it all. But you don’t need to fly around the world to find beautiful moments. They’re all around you—in the sound of birds singing in the trees; in the smell of rain; in the gentle dance of snowflakes. These moments are waiting for you to find them. And who knows? Maybe you’ll even experience them in Medina time.

Prev: “The other”

Next: “The hats of Medina”

5 thoughts on “9. “Slower” (The Hajj Journal)

  1. Pingback: 8. “The other” (The Hajj Journal) | Muslisms

  2. Pingback: 10. “The hats of Medina” (The Hajj Journal) | Muslisms

  3. Anita Jenkins

    I recognize this too. I have always been a Point A to Point B person, an achiever, a Westerner through and through. Only in retirement am I finally slowing down. Took my over 70 years to get here, and you are doing it in your youth. Wonderful.

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