Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter Sonata

It's December.
The northen hemisphere is now in the midst of winter.
Reading the news about snow storm, blizzard and white Christmas, remind me of my last winter in Canada.
It was my final semester as an undergraduate.

Canadian winter is long and cold. And my last winter there was especially 'long and cold', not because the temperature was colder than usual, but rather it was my heart that was cold.
I had never wanted to go that far away from my family.
I would be happy enough if I could get a place in any of the universities here in my own country.

But, Allah had a better plan for me. I still remember how my father told me that I should accept the offer to go half way around the globe to Canada, to continue my studies, and I accepted the offer because of him. I remembered telling myself, "Canada has snow...."
That's my only motivation. Nothing else.

Alhamdulillah...Praise be to Allah. I had a wonderful time in Canada. I enjoyed the four seasons very much. I enjoyed studying with my friends whom I had considered as my family. With the technology of those days, my communication with families back home was just letters and phone calls, which were very limited. Letters took days to reach the destination and phone calls were expensive. My friends were my family.

My final semester was enjoyable since I only had one course left. Besides attending class, we took time playing in the snow, and took many photos. I was also getting ready to leave the country for good. My flight home had been set and I looked forward to return to my family.

Then it was time for the final exam. It was a small classroom. They were all my classmates, less than twenty of us, all very cheerful. It's our last paper.
But the cheerful mood soon ended and my confidence crushed while answering the questions. I was trying my best to control my nervousness.
When it was over, the whole class were talking in frustration. I was not alone after all, everyone was caught by surprised at how tough the questions were. Even the smart Chinese boy whom we always made reference to for our assignments was complaining.

I walked out of the class with three other good friends of mine. My heart sank at the thought of failing the course. I've done my best, I've scored 92% for my course work (I still remember that). Suddenly the images of my father and my mother came to my mind. What if...what if I failed...I would be leaving without a degree in my hands...how disappointed they would be??
Slowly, tears began to roll from my eyes as the four of us walked out of the building. And as we began walking on the thick snow, it felt very cold and my heart was even colder and I started crying.

My friends were trying their best to console me, but I was inconsolable. The floodgate of tears had opened and I cried and cried all the way until we reached our apartment. It was the saddest and coldest twenty minutes walk that I've ever had in my life.

The days that followed were very hard for me and the cold weather made it worse. Each time I saw the snow falling outside my window, and looking at the surrounding all covered in white, a feeling of deep sadness crept into my heart. And I would silently cry again. The beautiful snow that I love and enjoy was wearing heart. And as the month of January ended the temperature turned even colder. February was the coldest month.

However, I am thankful to Allah, He had blessed me with very good friends. They had been my source of comfort. Together, we made special prayer for me and for my success in the exam, we read the Quran and had discussion. They even helped me made the call to the Malaysian Student Department to delay my flight until my result is out and my graduation is therefore confirmed. They reminded me that I've done my best. We had studied together in a group, spend some sleepless nights doing the assignments. It's time to leave everything to Allah. 

Alhamdulillah...Praise be to Allah...
Of all the lessons that I've learned in my five years in Canada, that was the one I remembered most.
I've learned that our life is a test. All we have to do is to try our best. It's not about achievement or failure, it's all about the struggle and being patient. Whatever the outcomes, if we had tried our best, our heart will be at peace. Whatever the outcomes, it is for the best. We had our plan, but Allah is the best planner.

As my life continued on, days, months, years after that day, I understand that Allah was preparing me for bigger, harder tests ahead.
I have to be strong. True success is not measured by material gain or social gain. But true success is when we are contented with what we have and what we don't have.
I've learned to be thankful with what I have, in the hope that Allah will be pleased with the little that I've done.

One of my teachers said, "Paradise is not for people who 'succeded' in their effort, but for those who have patience and had tried their best"
Yes, how true that is. The Quran says that one of the greetings to the people of paradise upon entering the blissfull abode would be:

"Salaamun alaikum..bima sobartum"
Peace be upon you, for your patience.

11 comments:

white said...

Salam madam... i've heard this story be4, it was in the statistic class in 2006... :) keep up the good work madam, do the best in what we're doing plus ikhlas as well, that is the most difficult but the most meaningful in the sight of Almighty Allah... i've graduated and now i'm going to travel somewhere, i'll not be in Malaysia perhaps until March or April... this is not a vacation bcoz life is not a vacation... a travel just for the sake of Allah... i heard that place is so cold now, it is winter but i'm not sure whether the snow will be there or not... please make du'a for me madam... may Allah swt make this journey safe and easy... Ameen...

mawar said...

Salam Jamil
You remembered....tak sangka ingat jugak cerita lama madam ya. Semuga jadi pengajaran.
Congratulation on your graduation.
Where are you traveling to? somewhere cold..must be in the north then. It's ok to go for vacation...but our life is not a vacation..we are 'serious' traveler in this life.
Find something meaningful in your journey so that you'll come back as a better person.
Have a safe blessed journey.

eid izzaidah said...

salam madam... i wish i can be like you one day,,feeling the 4 seasons-included in my 100targets list in my life... :)
please pray for me too madam... im at IIUM Gombak, facing the new life, but, and of coz i do really miss Nilai~ :)
May Allah bless you n us always... ameen..
From : izzaidah alias-sem 2, 2009/2010

mawar said...

Salam Izzaidah

The four seasons are really beautiful..subhaanallah. And when I came back home, I realize our tropical country is also very2 beautiful. Allah is showing his greatness everywhere..in the sun, the trees...everything is flawless and perfect.
Enjoy your time there in Gombak.
Have a blessed day.

halimahsalleh said...

salam Rahimah,

dah lama dah akak tak buka blog akak tu..tiba2 jerk hari ni teringat nak update blog akak tu..so nice to hear from you..at least reading something from you...sekarang ni akak selalu berinteraksi dekat fb akak..ada ramai kawan2 ex guelph di situ, zurina, surani, faridah, ros, senah, kak ami, kak alang, kak che mah, kak norli, kak niza dan ramai lagi...jom lah join kita orang ..mengenang nostalgia lama..hehehe..

mawar said...

Salam Kak Atun,

Terima kasih kerana sudi menziarah di sini dan jadi follower pulak tu.
Saya tak pandai ber facebook la.
Kirim salam la kat kawan2 kat fb tu ya.

Ina-Guelph 87' said...

Assalammualaikum Rahimah,

Remember me? Still sound like u.Kat mana menghilang ni or i am the one who missed all my dearest friends.Bila balik Ipoh, please come to my house.Ina kat Ipoh sekarang ni. Rahimah kat mana sekarang? UIAM ke? How to contact u? dpt tau blog ni pun dari kak Aton....

May Allah shower us with His Mercy.

mawar said...

Waalaikumsalam Ina,

Please write to my email rais911@gmail.com
Saya tak hilang,cuma Ina yang tak jumpa..hehe..

skeen said...

This story inspired me a lot. Thank u madam. I really like your tazkirah b4 class start. Touch my heart. Alhamdulillah. Thank u mdm :)

mawar said...

Salam skeen

Thanks for visiting here. Have a blessed day.

arepp said...

hye madam. First bkak blog madam, cari yg ni dlu. Hehe