Written by: Chereen
You and I, we are simply clay. But sometimes I feel like our clay does not always mold together well. My clay might be too warm because it came from a different place in this earth. And your clay, it might just be too cold. The possibility of our clays mixing becomes a challenge, and so our clays come apart. They then look for different clays to mold with. This process is not always successful. Sometimes, it actually hurts. I have learned that clay can get sticky, and the process of coming apart can leave you with a piece of someone else’s clay for the rest of your life.
There are times where a person with really soft clay comes into contact with someone that has incredibly hard clay. When the really soft clay is very warm, it has the possibility to soften the hard clay. That’s when clays become one. The clay becomes unbreakable, and it’s impossible to distinguish what they once looked like.
Sometimes, really hard clay can mess with soft clay. It can leave traces and even big pieces that hurt when taken out. The soft clay can then feel confused, as it wonders if it’s hard or soft. It’s possible for it to harden over time if it succumbs to the pieces and refuses to moisten its clay with genuine self-love. Then again, there’s always the possibility for the soft clay to forgive the hard pieces and soften them. The hard clay can depart, and the traces that remain in the soft clay can become lessons learned that no longer hurt.
All this talk of clay has made me wonder and reflect upon my own. My clay is warm, and sometimes it can be hot. This used to get me in trouble, because ice cold clay used to freeze it and leave it stiff. After multiple trials, I learned that hot clay has a purpose. Hot clay can help cold clay become warmer. It can help melt the hard clay so that it softens up. When approached by ice cold clay that has no desire to warm up, my sometimes warm and sometimes hot clay has gained enough strength to no longer become frozen. Instead, it just does not mesh with clay that causes a negative chemical change.
Clay can be cooler, and it’s actually a very good thing. Warm clay desires cool clay when it becomes too hot. Cool clay is often at ease because it is also soft. No clay is better than another, except by the deeds it contributes to other clays and this earth. All clay comes from Adam, and so maybe all clays can get along to a certain extent. I have learned that every clay is given the opportunity to mold, to soften, and to change its texture into one that is gentler.
Our clays are not always going to mold together. Sometimes our clays come apart. Other times, they beautifully complement one another and become one. I hope that your clay finds its purpose through all the molding and the kneading that life takes your clay through. As your head caresses the ground five times a day, take it as an opportunity to be humbled. Remember, your clay was once dust that the earth sought refuge from God.
“Truly, I am going to create man from clay. So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then you fall down prostrate to him.” [Al-Qur’an 38:71-72]
(Piece inspired by Nadia Yousef, creator of Seven Spatulas)