Wide Earth Smallholding

Wide Earth Smallholding

And Allaah has made for you the earth a wide expanse.(Qur'aan- 71:19)

Sheer Poetree

This weekend we had a little party. So often in the past I would have celebrations when times were tough in order to keep everyone’s spirits up, to remind them of my boundless love for each of them. This party was a celebration of place, of family, of friendship. The children had root beer for the first time- to mixed reviews- we ate pizza, and small gifts were exchanged. We played outside, we sat and talked, we drank apple cider. We had had so many of these little celebrations in Yemen, just our little family, that the presence of my sister in law and her children brought home the blessings of being here, with our extended family, again. The whole day was wonderful, but perhaps one of the best things about it was our poetree.

I don’t remember where the idea for making a poetree originated, but once the seed was planted in our imaginations we were excited about the possibilities, and couldn’t wait to make one. Basically, one draws a picture of a tree, and then everyone writes poems on leaves and attaches them to it. Maryam, my little poetess, has been making poetry leaves for weeks, but we hadn’t made the tree for her to attach them to. When we were trying to think of things to do at the party, it seemed like the perfect time to get started on our first poetree.

Everyone loved doing it. Sukhailah chose the subject of Spring for our poems. Aunt Elise, Ruby, and my baby Asmaa worked together to produce theirs. Ruby and Maryam made one for baby Joseph. Some of the children were so full of poems that they wanted to make more leaves than would actually fit on the tree! (Note to self: make a bigger tree)

I made my leaf too big, so I had to make a pretty long poem. In retrospect, I figured I could have just decorated the edges lavishly.

At any rate, it was a huge success. I posted everyone’s poems on Facebook, and they were well received. Here is a picture of the finished tree:


Our first poetree- I think it will become a habit!

This is what you get when a bunch of poets have a party. Laughter, love, and poetry.

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  1. Wise advice here, ma’am. Thanks for sharing. I’m going to work harder to practice some of these things moving forward. (It’s so easy to “forget.”)

    1. It is! It’s funny because I had been thinking a lot about that bedtime ritual with Mujaahid from when he was little, and I realized I hadn’t been practicing it with the other children lately. We started doing it again, and everyone is loving it. It’s important now especially because they are worried about Mujaahid, and about our potential relocation. I can see that it helps to ground them a bit more.

  2. Jazakallahu khayran for such a beneficial article Allaahummah barik. I have not been in these kind of situations however, reading you have made me realize that we may face uncertainty at a different level in different situations. Subhana Allaah, we need to step back sometimes and reflect upon our situation and try to see thorough our children’s eyes and minds …

    This summer my daughter, who is four ,was hit by a car. Alhamdulillaah she only had a broken ankle which is nothing compared to what could had happened to her. This accident was a huge shock for her. I could see how much she needed me. Alhamdulillaah I remained very calm all the way through and this helped her to cope with the situation. Later on, we ‘scrapbooked’ the experience, we went over what had happened that day and drew a story sequence on her scrapbook: The car, the accident, the ambulance…We talked about it more than once while looking at our drawing. I think this exercise helped her to understand what had happened to her and to accept it.
    Jazakalllaahu khayran

    1. Wa jazak! Yes, this is the sort of thing I am talking about. All children are different, but some of them really respond well to being able to work things out through speech, writing, coloring, drawing, or whatever. Alhamdulillah that your little girl is fine, and that you handled the situation so well!

      1. Barakallaahu feeki! I had never experienced anything like that before but I also I felt that Allaah put peace and tranquility in my heart and the whole experience made me reflect a lot alhamdulillaah. May Allaah protect your children and be the waliyy of all of you in this life and the next aameen. Fi amanillaah

  3. We have utilized all those methods, maashaa Allah, and still do at varying times. One thing I have always found therapeutic is to “walk through my thoughts and troubles.” In other words, I do something physical to release tension, get good endorphins flowing, and at the same time talk to Allah in order to think through things well. When there are major changes coming up or happening, I make an effort to walk with the children so they can release tension, relax, take in the grandeur of the Universe, think things through and put things in perspective. Somehow, those walks give them a platform to ask questions, explore scenarios, and voice fears and emotions that don’t come out when we are in the house.

    I think that other physical activity, like having races, hula hoop competitions, skipping, skating, etc. can also be encouraged and used in a similar way – to release the tension that such situations bring about. However, the walk is the one where the most connections seem to be made in conjunction with the physical release.

    Barak Allahu feekum. I KNOW that Allah is moving you on to something good and beneficial to you all, so I hope you all are waiting with the same excited, optimistic anticipation that I am to see where you all “land” next! Al hamdul’Illahi Rabbil aal ameen!

    1. Feekee Barak Allaah, Mai, yes, I feel the same way, alhamdulillaah, that we are moving on to something better. Mash’Allaah, this has always been the case, and my heart is easy with this.
      Your advice is WONDERFUL I wish I had put it in the original post, mash’Allaah! We do this as well, the walking, especially, but sometimes it will just be doing something to work through things in an energetic fashion. Actually, my husband and I do this ourselves as well, because it gives us time to reflect and connect and gain perspective. I am so glad you added this!! Insh’Allaah when I write this to put in the book, I will make sure it is mentioned.

  4. subhanAllah i just love your ideas reading this makes me feel that i have so much to learn as a mother and i don’t know were to start. i’m 21 with two beautiful girls , i feel so overwhelmed like i don’t know what i’m doing especially the fact that i did not really have this growing up i grew up in a family of tough love were you had to really cope with what you were dealing with by your self or suck it up, i always told my self that i would never do this to my children but now that i have children i feel the only thing i know how to do is what my parents done to me its like a battle me fighting myself not to be that way but its winning over me because i never experienced otherwise barakALLAH hu feeki for this wallahi its well needed at least on my part may ALLAH reward you greatly

    1. Alhamdulillah, we all start from somewhere, my dear. Ask Allaah for help, all the time, and remember that truly He answers your du’a. Think of the characteristics of the Prophet, sal Allaahu aleihi wa salam, and seek to nurture these in yourself. Be patient with yourself and your children, and look to Islaam for your guidelines in this and all things.

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