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!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Santa Cruz Island: Part III


The majority of the women were perfectly content to watch the sun melt at Potato Harbor.

But Sisters Tracie, Farah, Wanda, and Adina had other plans. I wondered at their decision to break from the relative safety of the larger group.

Sister Farah, one of the Cloud Women, had this to say:
Why did we split off?
We were looking for an adventure, and sometimes that means going off from the main vessel.
We wanted to push ourselves and our conversations were too deep to turn around and go back. Once or twice we thought maybe we've gone too far but it didn't stop us. I think the fact that we were going too far was exactly what we wanted.
We saw some amazing sights because of it. Sister Tracie told us the view was like Hawaii. I felt my trip had just doubled in reward.
We prayed up there as best we could with gusty winds pushing us back and forth- trying to keep my feet on the ground became my goal. We put our hands out like we were flying and maybe we were.
Who knows?
Sunset was done and we sat in pseudo-yoga poses and tried to really soak in where we were and what we were doing. After awhile, we met a couple on top of the hill and confirmed the direction back to camp.
It was on the way home that we saw a shining pair of eyes in the dark looking out at us from the wilderness.

And in the dark our songs became supplications. My pepper spray was ready to go if needed.
Back at camp, the other women were getting worried. Sister Safia said this:
When we came back down the hill and the other four girls weren't with us, that was not fun. For me it was a fight between I'm hungry and I want to eat and being worried about the group of ladies behind us. Did they even have a flashlight with them? No cell phones and it's dark. Did they go the wrong way? Sister Tracie acquired a reputation as the lady with the gadgets and when we heard that she had a flashlight with her we were somewhat relieved.
Sister Lobna, Coyote and amira of the three clans, doubled-back along the darkened trail and called for the women. Far off in the gloom she only just made out flickering lights.

Sister Farah tells what happened: 
Once we got to a point where we could see camp, we faked up some language of flashing lights which was supposed to say "we are okay." And from camp they signaled back what we took to mean "ok good." We never practiced it or even spoke about the potential need of doing that, but we had either watched too many of the same movies or had an instinct to know what to do.
When we finally arrived we laughed and the others laughed at how we didn't know how to communicate with flashlights.
Most of the women had already started eating dinner. It was part of the newness of each other that we didn't feel worried about the other party being late, or maybe it was a way to believe in and trust that everything would be okay.
Verily with the remembrance of Allah do hearts find peace.
Sister Amira embraced her role as her clan's Spoon Keeper. She made sure that all had eaten their fill and directed clean-up and disposal like a champ. The meal and the bedtime preparations which followed took on a communal quality with all doing their part before hitting their tents.

Sister Khadeejah described the wind that first night. "For some," she said, "the noises were imagined to be the sounds an infant might hear within her mother's womb. For others there was the fear that their tent might blow away or a branch might come crashing down."

And what occurs to us as our circumstances unfold is the beginning of learning. From this, we encounter our patterns. And then we decide to persist or change, with God's permission.

Sleep came to the women and with it the lingering promise of a new day.

1 comment :

  1. Ah! What great memories ... Farah so nice to know what you guys were up to when you split off! Memories we will never forget

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