From dust to tribe . . .

Dust and Tribe (D&T) is the experience of growth through adventure.

Our fall and spring signature excursions are annual opportunities for Muslim men and women to push through the boundaries of supposed mental and physical limits into a new awareness of what we can be when we support one another.

It is where we discover what we are (dust) and what we become together (tribe).

Spring 2016: D&T Grrrl!

On April 22nd, fifteen women left for three days and two nights camped out on an island two-hours off the California coast. This blog is their story!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Santa Cruz Island: Part II

Sister Rayesa brought a big tent. It was the perfect spot for some much needed rest. Sometimes, however, when we find ourselves both exhausted and in a new place, it happens that novelty and fatigue make warring demands within our minds and bodies. Such was the case with Sister Safia, Coyote of the Chumash Women.
I took a light nap in a great big tent that Sister Rayesa generously brought with her. My ears were pricked though, making sure that nobody went on a hike without me. Some of us were planning to head back to Scorpion Anchorage, and I would join them.

The place was rough and gorgeous, God’s Beauty that compelled our gaze. On the half-mile trip back we passed by green foliage that never tires the eye. We eventually reached the beach.

Some of us dipped our feet into the water and screamed about how cold it was. To the right of us we noticed a bunch of rocks piled along the wall of a great cliff. In our excitement for our first adventure on the island, we began to climb over the rocks to see the beach from a different angle.

After climbing for awhile, Sisters Tracie, Wanda, Khadeejah, Umm Iman, and I found our favorite rocks to sit on. There was some small talk, but mostly we were silent, each of us alone with God and His creation, watching, thinking, and working to be at peace and mentally just let go.

God it felt darn good, too. Like what I was doing at that moment, was something I hadn’t done in a very long time. And I missed it.
After awhile it got cold and it was time for the women to head back to camp. On the way back, Sister Safia found a stick that became her boon companion for the duration of their adventure:

I don’t know what I would have done without it. I would have definitely fallen more, slipped more, and who knows what else. I found it while hiking back from the beach area. It was laying on the ground, partly hidden. I picked it up thinking how nice and straight it was. Little did I know how attached to it I would get!
I took it EVERYWHERE. It had a nice flat edge at the bottom to dig into the ground while walking. It looked like someone had it before me because someone must have shaped the bottom part of the stick. However, at that time I convinced myself that I was the first one to find it. The more I inspected my stick, the more I appreciated it. It had a nice smooth grip on it, long enough to keep me walking straight but not too long that it was above my height. It was perfect.

A stick helped to change the course of empires in Pharaonic Egypt. May we all be blessed with companions that keep us "walking straight."

Back at camp, it was time for a little food and rest. Fueled up and in spite of the lengthening shadows, there was a new buzz at camp: sunset at Potato Harbor.

That's a five-mile trek, and they were ready. Sister Safia describes the hike:

So now was my opportunity to hike on these gorgeous hills. I was exhilarated! Rolling hills of green as far as the eye can see. Is this what I have been missing, zoning out late at night watching TV?
While hiking, I learned to take it slow. There was no rush. I rush enough already back home, I thought. And I was feeling like a legit hiker with my hiking stick. So no rush.
I also learned that I wasn’t much of a talker. I would talk but slowly trail behind to take it all in. It was nice to see everyone being able to do their own thing. No one got upset when someone trailed off. We all understood people wanted their silent time, too.
They ambled their way through the hills and onto the cliffs overlooking Potato Harbor. Al-hamdu lillah wa shukr lillah, the women found their spot.

Have you ever been in the middle of something and you just had no idea how big a deal it was until way too late? That's us in every moment, if we're not careful.

Sunsets are wonderful. Sitting is one way to take them in. But there were some among the tribe with different ideas.

Sisters Tracie, Farah, Wanda, and Adina split from the main group to continue exploring. Laughter and song could be heard from far off, but when the women of the cliff rose for camp, the four wanderers could not be found.

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