April 20, 2020-
As I bid farewell to my Baha’i friends, after the Zoom call that commemorated the First Day of Ridvan, I found a message, essentially telling me I was part of a greater problem, for having attended the Holy Day observance.
Ridvan is Persian for “paradise”. The Garden of Ridvan was a salubrious place, just outside Baghdad. In 1863, Baha’u’llah and His family were preparing to obey the edict of the Ottoman Empire’s Sultan, and depart Baghdad for Constantinople (Istanbul). They camped in Ridvan Garden for twelve days, April 21-May 2. As we use a lunar calendar, called the Badi Calendar, to reckon our Holy Days, the actual dates may fluctuate, as they have this year. So, today is the Festival’s first day and May 1, the twelfth day. In between, there is a commemoration of the ninth day, during which Baha’u’llah revealed His Station, as Messenger of God, to His family and camp followers. We Baha’is commemorate all three days, as sacred.
No one who knows me really thinks I sit around and am content to merely observe ritual or tradition. At the same time, observing special occasions with friends is NOT wrong, nor is it wasteful. There are those, however, who feel it their duty to savage people, for whatever reason they have cooked up in their minds. My inclination is to not let their diatribes turn me aside from what I know to be my spiritual path. One of my spiritual advisers urges me to stay on my path, and I’m sure that. were I to consult the others, they would agree.
There will, no doubt, be many changes coming our way, in the immediate future and throughout this decade. The 24/7 nature of our news and communications have many people in an uproar. Some will make risky choices and suffer for them, possibly taking others down with them. Others will want to make choices FOR others, offering to take control of many lives-“in the name of scientific progress”. I will, as I’ve said recently, make my own choices and they will take both my needs, and those of the multitude whom I love, into consideration. For that matter, I will consider the safety and well-being of those who attack me, as well. God created them, too, even if they don’t see it.
This has been a year of meticulously taking one day at a time-and it will continue as such, well after COVID19 has subsided.