nineteen days

Ever since I was a little girl in padded pajama feet peering through the dark house towards the warm lights of the kitchen where my parents were having an early-morning breakfast before the sun rose, I’ve been intrigued by the fasting period before the Baha’i new year. It was the only time of the year I would ever leave the house when the morning sky was still black and go to McDonald’s and have breakfast on a styrofoam plate. When I turned fifteen and started fasting myself, I loved pulling myself from the grips of my bed knowing it was for a special purpose and a chance for me to exercise my will power and devotion. Now that I’m over the trips to McDonald’s (my dad and I have moved on to IHOP), I’m enjoying the 19 days of slowing down, becoming acutely aware of my surroundings and like in any body of water, seeing a clearer reflection of my self in its stillness.
For the last five years, this period of fasting has also born a creative dimension through my participation in an international collaborative project called “nineteen days” where paired photographers around the world take photographs around sunrise and sunset and post their photos and reflections on a blog. This year 36 photographers from 19 countries participated. These are the photos I entered for my post, followed by my reflection for the day.

Fasting always puts under a microscope what has been moving around in my mind for the past several months. I’ve pulled the brakes on so many things in my life only to devote more of myself to what really matters. And yet, at some point, we just have to let go of what we try so hard to protect and realize that we are all in the best of Hands, and everything will be just fine. Just fine.

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Ashley Southall - The photo of the little girl is incredible!

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