Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Georgia on my Mind

We visit Georgia often enough to satisfy any natural cravings one could have for a place, but we still can't keep it off our mind. This is not about missing a place, we miss California (SF/Oakland- Bay Area, to be exact), we long to visit there, then once we are back in "The Bay" for a couple of weeks we are ready to go home . . . wherever that home may be. Georgia, however, brings about a different emotion. . . To be completely honest, it brings up mumbled, jumbled mixed up emotions.

Georgia was to be our Jerusalem "the land of milk and honey", the promise to restore former slaves with the fruits of their labor of "40 acres and a mule", and the American dream of a "house with a white picket fence". We packed up our moving truck in 2005 leaving the half million dollar tiny 1200 square foot condo heading Southeast to Georgia where we had big plans of going "Back to Basics", urban homesteading, on a 1 acre lot in a house that was double the size and more than half the price.
Our House- The twisted American Dream
My Kitchen - the selling point.
However, our dreams came tumbling down when we got there and humble dad's job fell through, he was out of work and I was faced with entering the work force and quitting homeschooling. We also were met with unfriendly neighbors and community of people who took their Southern Dixie heritage to be fuel for continued bigotry. We were isolated away from friends, family and community, in a house that we could not afford, and the fear of placing my children in the local public school where the principal committed suicide in her office due to Bush's "No Child Left Behind" law: this American dream was surely turning into a nightmare. We had to make some hard choices, I am not sure if we made the correct ones, but the choices we made were for me to go back to work, humble dad go back to school and work, move to a city with a Muslim friendly Charter School, put our house up for rent and although not a conscious choice, but the reality, get into loads of student loan and credit card debt, which we were never in before. God is Merciful, we were able to get a really great renter after only two tries that has been there since 2007. Humble Dad graduated with his second bachelors in Accounting (first one in History), he received a few awards including Deloitte Tax Case Competition and Magna Cum Laude. Our S man who is slightly Autistic did extremely well at the Charter School with an AWESOME teacher and class that followed him two grades, however, my other Beloveds did not fair as well at the school. I did meet some great friends there whom I love and cherish for all the support and love they showed me and my family. I worked awhile until I got pregnant with my last beloved- Lil A. After graduation, Humble dad's new job took us to Texas and now here to Tennessee. Nashville, TN is about a 4 hour drive to Atlanta, GA, it is short enough to go often to fix up the house and to visit friends. 
Lil A is a big help to Humble dad. 
Fixing the Deck at the house.
Digging up dirt, playing on a 1 acre lot is fun!
 Although, Nashville is a great city to raise children, the diversity of the city is not enough to have found true kindred spirits. People who put God first in their life. People who are Green: like their food organic, rather walk or ride a bike than drive, & who know what LEED stands for. People who respect and have an interest in different cultures. People who are free thinkers. People who think Walmart is a dirty word. Rarely are the first criteria of putting God first coupled with all the rest. I have found alot of Conservative Christians and Muslims who put God first, but they lack all the other qualities and I have found alot of Secularist/Atheist/Agnostics who are great in all the other qualities. In a more larger diverse city like Atlanta, you have a much greater chance of finding kindred spirits who both have a love for God and a nurturing love for God's Greatest creations- our bodies & earth.
Bosnian Neighbor's huge garden
My dream garden.
So Georgia again is heavily on our mind. Our dream of turning that acre into a sustainable garden looks even brighter with our new Bosnian neighbors who started a beautiful one in their backyard. The neighborhood has changed since we bought the house, not only is the Bosnian couple new, we have new neighbors on the other side who is more child friendly than the previous owners. Our Beloveds are getting bigger, they want more space to roam, they need more space to learn how to be Interdependent people. They love exploring the land and helping us to work on the house. It would also be nice to set up a room in my house entirely just for homeschooling. Some of our friends from the Charter school now live less than 10 minutes away from our house in Georgia. There is also the prospect of a real community, a community that we visit every time we go to Atlanta. Muslims who are not only working to be green, but a leader who is part of the new genearation of Traditional Muslim Scholarship and leads his community in a modern and balanced approach. The sisters started Umibaby and we were able to go to one of their wonderful Ramadhan programs with beautiful nasheeds, storytelling, and crafts. A community whose goal it is to build community, whom works hard to attain it and it shows.
Welcoming banner for great time of year
by a great community!
Umibaby hosted program with an Awesome storyteller!
Ramadhan craft at the Umibaby program
Eid Day at a community Eid celebration
The huge lot in back of the Masjid held many vendors,
games, jumpers, video game truck, dining, & entertainment
Lil A's kindred spirit and look-a-like inside the Masjid.
We have worked really hard to get out of the credit card debt we got ourselves in. God-willing, we will be done with the student loans next year. Returning to Georgia, debt free but the house is very attainable, but what if once again economic strife hits us. What if something major on the house needs to be fix? Is owning and maintaining a house out of our means? Will  moving to Georgia be bad for Humble dad's career, where Washington DC, San Francisco and New York are the better career locations? Will the sacrifices of career be better for our family in the long run: mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and economically? Will moving to Georgia mean Humble dad will be traveling a great deal, where one of the other 3 big cities will have him home for our Beloved's baseball games more often? We will continue to pray on Georgia, until our mind is firm with the best solution.

3 comments :

  1. Mashallah! I enjoyed reading this! I pray that you make the move that is good for your family and if that means moving to Atlanta I am looking forward to my family spending time and getting to know your family. We definitely have some of the same interests and goals.

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  2. Dearest Sister Kamilah, your post saddens me...but know that everything happens for a reason. Don't ask "what if?", just pray istikhara and know that Allah put you precisely in your exact location for a certain reason. You are where you're supposed to be. Now...just to find your purpose in that place...perhaps if you are still in Tennessee in June, it will be to finally meet me at the SeekersGuidance Retreat in Coker Creek! ;) Looking forward to hearing more about your dream garden à la Bosnian neighbors....keep on keepin' on sis, everything is a test and character-building. Your kindred spirits might not be found in your exact location, but they can still be close through the internet and through that beautiful hub you've got there called family :). Fi amanillah~

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  3. InshaAllah to both of you sisters, I look forward to it. Both of you offer so much to your respected communities, may I accomplish a percentage of it.

    Thank you Mrs. Abdullah for the words of encouragement! Please don't be sadden by the post, it is my testimony of the trials we have overcome and my hope for the future, God willing.

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