Today is day 10 of the 19-day Baha’i Fast. No food or drink from sunrise to sunset means: dawn prayers and breakfasts with the hubby (and sometimes other friends), breaking fast in good cheer among loved ones, extra time for reflection and preparation for Naw Ruz (the new year – spring equinox)….. however it also means no running.
I have some friends who continue to exercise/run during the fast. They either wake up an hour earlier and run way before sunrise or try to do it post sunset. One of my Muslim friends would even continue to play rugby in the daylight hours of Ramadan! I find I don’t have enough energy for anything besides long walks and yoga. Even though I’m grateful for the “hidden sweetness in the stomach’s emptiness”, I get antsy without my daily exercise session. I’m trying appreciate the value in a detox from my running addiction, hoping that my body (especially my joints) benefit from the rest.
Sunday morning a group of us went for a peaceful walk through Central Park together after breakfast and few dawn prayers. It was just what my spirit needed.
The poet Rumi on fasting:
There's hidden sweetness in the stomach's emptiness. We are lutes, no more, no less. If the soundboxes 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. Be emptier and cry like reed instruments cry. Emptier, write secrets with the reed pen. When you're full of food and drink, Satan sits where your spirit should, an ugly metal statue in place of the Kaaba. When you fast, good habits gather like friends who want to help. Fasting is Solomon's ring. Don't give into some illusion and lose your power, but even if you have, if you've lost all will and control, they come back when you fast, like soldiers appearing out of the ground, pennants flying above them. A table descends to your tents, Jesus' table. Expect to see it, when you fast, this tablespread with other food, better than the broth of cabbages.