(Sunrise over Mina)
I miss lying down on the cold, hard ground under a mute, starless sky, waking up at midnight to find myself staring at a moon that looked as though it’s been cut perfectly in half.
I miss sleeping in a tent with total strangers, six of whom became very close friends in the end, one of whom became akin to a sister.
I miss walking in the footsteps of learned men, as millions have also done time and again, thousands of years before I even existed.
I miss feeling hopelessly lost in a swirling sea of humanity — all of us different, yet all the same.
I miss finding the most unexpected silence enshrouding me like a blanket in the midst of utter chaos.
I miss being overwhelmed by emotions so strong, it took all of my strength (and so much more) not to get swept away.
I miss the countless hours of inexplicable solitude, complete calm, intense humility, profound gratitude, pure bliss, and total surrender.
I miss the unbidden, uninhibited, yet strangely comforting, seemingly endless flow of tears.
I miss the magic hours of the last third of cold, cold nights spent in silent devotion.
I miss the nearly tangible and almost palpable proximity to the Source and Meaning of it all.
And I hope and pray with all my heart and from the very depths of my soul to find myself back in that magical place again. And again. And again.