Thursday, 22 July 2010

‘I would rather spend my whole life believing in God, only to find that he doesn’t exist, rather than spend that time not believing, then find that he does’.
Churches are generally full of old people, because as we age we tend to look for more answers regarding our mortality. It’s the same when you are told you have cancer, your thoughts on the future shift fairly dramatically. I was lucky enough to be allowed to enter the Selimiye Mosque in Nicosia yesterday. I say lucky because not many of us non-Moslems would normally get this chance, especially if you happened to be a woman. If you are a non-Moslem, man or woman, and it is outside the hours of prayer, you can take your shoes off and enter this holy place in the city centre. I think it is an excellent way to invite others into the heart of what is sometimes seen as a very secretive religion. Woman all had to wear head scarves and to the amusement of the Moslems, a British guy donned a head scarf as he entered, oblivious that the rule only applied to women.
It was an amazing place to stand in, with everything, including the carpet in this ancient mosque, lined up to face Mecca. Unlike a church of the Christian faith, it was so simple and minimalistic inside, the emphasis being on the people and not the grandeur of the building they worshipped in. I got the chance, even as a so called ‘non believer’, to ask Allah for help; so I did! I had not become deeply religious, I always have been, but I was observing and questioning my own actions as I left the Mosque. My religion doesn’t have buildings, people who wear funny hats or any declared followers, but I suspect there are millions of us.

Have you ever wanted to watch turtles grappling up a moonlit beach, or watch the eggs hatch and see hundreds of the tiny creatures scrambling down to the sea? Well buy a DVD! We arrived at 8.30pm with other hopefuls and soon found ourselves camped out, in the dark, on what was probably a lovely beach. To keep our interest, a bucket, with a dozen newly hatched ‘wains’ were gently poured out near to the waters edge. Ten scrambled into the lapping waves and disappeared like a shot. Two others just did not want to go at all; they probably knew their survival chances! After that we just lay, the two of us on a single sleeping bag, gazing out at the Universe until 5am. No turtles hatched and none turned up to lay any eggs. Well given the size of the audience we might have made the same choice when delivering our families, don’t you think? We all sighed ‘ahhhh’ every time a shooting star flashed across the sky, and we all giggled when somebody farted; a competition that I surely won! We drifted in and out of sleep, occasionally waking to find less and less people had been pulled out to sea by the Great Turtle God, or had just plain had enough! With five of us left, the organisers were ready to cut their wrists also, and if there were any baby turtles scurrying down the sand, they would have surely been trampled to death in our eagerness to evacuate.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you're still having a great & interesting time! :) .. I love reading your blog - it's the last thing I do before I go to bed so that I can check up on you ;) & even though you started it because of some bad news.. It always makes me smile & often laugh out loud!! :) Im proud of you for keeping your spirits up & your sense of humour alive, even when things are tough! Gotta keep on keeping on eh dad ;) xxx

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