I Will Arise and Go Now

When I was a young boy, living in South-Western Ontario Canada, one pastime that gave me a feeling of great contentment was laying alone in the grass of my parent’s back-yard during humid summer days, looking up at the leaves of a poplar tree there, as they applauded passing cloud formations in the sky or the songs of hiding cicadas.

My parents often spoke of “buying a house in the country” and many a Sunday drive took my family and I out into the back-roads of Waterloo-Wellington county, hunting for that “perfect” piece of land to settle on.    We’d pass Old Order Mennonites in their horse drawn buggies and I’d admire their convictions – imagining how wonderful it would be to awaken each day and go to bed each night in such scenic and serene environments as they’d chosen for their farms.

As a child, it was also a blessing to have my great grandparents in my life ~ an elderly Scottish couple in their early nineties, still actively running a one hundred acre farm an hour’s drive away from our city home.  We’d visit their land during summer holidays – play in the hay, explore their barn, walk between rows of raspberry plants and experience a perspective of life that further watered dreams deep within me of living close to nature.

My parents never found that land they so often spoke of, but as a teen, budding with independence and adventure, I embraced the freedom of biking or driving beyond the suburbs where I lived to forests and fields where I would nap, hike, write and advance my own plans for rural living.  Further influenced by the writings of Henry David Thoreau as well as the Qur’an’s overall philosophical approach to living in “balance”, and inspired by frequent visits to farms (worked by the relatives of a dear friend) I made a decision at the age of twenty-one to begin defining a direction for myself that I hoped would help me achieve the dream of living a balanced life in a natural environment.   W.B. Yeats had poetically summed up my plan a century earlier, when he wrote:

“I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:

Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.”

It was my intention to spend nine years working and saving ~ trying to secure some form of simple but consistent passive income while also educating myself at being as self-subsisting as possible, so, by the age of thirty I could settle in a rural or semi-rural location and attempt to live without debt and with as little dependency on others as possible.   Grow food, farm bees, build things I need, fix things I break, read, write, reflect, reduce, reuse and recycle to the fullest!  The ultimate goal:  live to work at maintaining a life of balance to the best of my personal ability.  …Balances between work and rest, social contribution and independent personal growth, needs and wants…balances that we often deny ourselves or are oblivious to because of social conditioning or economical traps that snap closed on us.

There were a few twists and turns along my journey that delayed me somewhat.   Some (like marriage, fatherhood, travel or research) were well worth  the “delays” they caused….  while some took me completely off track ~ miring me in meaninglessness where I wasted years of my time spinning my wheels ~ thinking I was moving forward when, in fact, I was just sinking in the expectations of others or illusions of my self-righteousness.

Recently I entered my thirty-ninth summer and I am pleased to share that, although I am nine years late, I have reached the phase in my plan that I set out toward when I was a younger man of twenty-one.

Within this new blog I will share my ongoing thoughts, experiences, successes and failures at continuing to seek a life of balance.  I will write about my ongoing efforts to simplify how I live and share with you how my experiences effect my view of the world and my ongoing expressions as a writer, musician and artist.

I welcome you to follow a poet, as he follows goats and sips simplicitea.

– dawud wharnsby
Abbottabad, Pakistan

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13 thoughts on “I Will Arise and Go Now

  1. Salam Br. Dawud,
    I enjoying reading your blog so far…
    I myself grew up on the border of MN/Canada…

    Sister Nirgaz

  2. Salams dear Eva,

    Thanks for posting! Ah, I can only imagine how beautiful your surroundings were growing up. Hope you’ll join me here regularly.

    Peace,
    dawud

  3. Salaam bro, love your music, you’ve got a great a great blog going here. All the best, w’Salaam ~ Peace.

  4. naseeba

    Salam brother
    Very kind of you, giving such nice nasheeds . Allah bless you. Felt nice to go through your blog. Be in peace. Salam

  5. You paint a tranquil picture of your youth. Wonderful to hear you eventually found that balance you craved…and may it continue! I especially admire your appreciation for life and the simple things in nature of which you speak of so eloquently! Thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading further…

  6. Hodan

    Salam Dawud,

    I enjoyed reading your blog. Being a 15 year old born and raised Australia, your childhood sounds very adventurous and special. May Allah(SWT) reward you for all of your wonderful work. Your songs inspire me to live my life happily everyday. Thank-you 🙂

  7. Dear friends, thanks for reading and taking the time to post your positive comments.

    This whole Blog Thing is really just an experiment for me. Over the years, I have always “reflected” privately in a journal, with some entries eventually evolving into songs or poems that I have decided to share with others. Sadly, songs and poems are often so specific that, when people hear or read them, they often see just a small part of who the writer is through the words. We poets, song-smiths and troubadours then become these odd caricatures of ourselves ~ more defined by a handful of songs we’ve written, than by who we really are, what we really do and what we may be even more passionate about that selling our writings!

    Toss PR hoop-la into the equation and managers to buffer people’s direct contact with a “higher than thou” persona, and it’s no wonder so many artists really believe their own press agents and think they are the Cat’s Meow. It is also easy to see why so many of us often get disillusioned when we meet our favourite pop idols, only to find out they are pathetically human and often highly self absorbed.

    My little blog here generates no income for me. It is just a chance for me to write about things that I personally find interesting, with the hope that ~ those who are drawn to read may become friends who share common interests, ideas and interaction. I’ve always tried to do that with my songs too ~ but as I say, that can be really hard when only dealing with a few verses and choruses.

  8. iffatali

    Salaam brother Dawud
    I reside in the UK but as a child would spend many summers in Pakistan with my maternal grandparents and other beautiful relatives in their village in the open. It was very simple, very basic, not a shop in sight, the village itself consisting of roughly a dozen homes, the occupants all of whom were related. So you can imagine when I say it was ‘our land – our yard – our heaven’. And visiting the village, Kuliya, would allow us to explore and climb hills and run through fields, sit on rooftops looking out for distant cars approaching the village, or going to the wells to fetch the water, or just go to sleep in the open. And then there was all the animals – chasing the chickens, watching the cows being milked, collecting the eggs, gently picking the chicks or the lambs. SubhanAllah! I am in my mid thirties now, but all this and whole lot more, certainly played a huge part in creating a sense of childhood happiness and joys in my life – and I feel a whole lot richer for those memories I hold so dear to me!
    You can imagine life in the UK is on a totally different scale – love it immensely, but I love and appreciate the simplicity of the way my grandparents and parents had lived their lives back in those days. As it gives you the opportunity to value eve

  9. iffatali

    …everything you have in life and thank Allah for everything. Not just because you may have progressed in life, but also because Allah has provided you with the means of supporting yourself alhamdulillah.

    Anyway, I have just begun reading your blog as you placed a link to it on fb, and your very first blog has taken me back to my childhood alhamdulillah 🙂 I look forwardto continuing my journey through your eyes and thoughts inshaAllah 🙂

    Ps. My kids Abdul Mueez 12 and Safa 8 absolutely love you and your nasheeds 🙂 they’ve grown up listening and singing along to your music and songs 🙂 We went to Living Islam a few weeks ago (which subhanAllah was an experience worth every single penny!!) but sadly you weren’t there, inshaAllah praying that you will be able to attend the one in 2014 so we can meet you in person 🙂

    Allah hafiz
    Sister Iffat

  10. Dear Iffatali, thanks you so much for your kind words of support and for sharing your reflections. All you described is exactly what my family and I experience here. The weekends are even more comparable as we usually go out to the village where my wife’s grandfather was born and spend time there – sleeping beneath the stars, hiking, picking fruit from the trees, swimming in the tube well, climbing trees… the roof-tops, the fields, chasing chickens, watching the cow be milked…. I am so glad you treasure those memories and I myself feel so blessed to be experiencing similar things in my own life now. Sorry I was not able to attend the Living Islam Camp in the UK this past summer. Perhaps we will be able to meet at a later time, upon one of my next visit to England. Keep an eye on my website at http://www.wharnsby.com for my travel itinerary… I may be getting back over your way in the autumn.

  11. abu iyad

    Dear brother in deen, I’m very inspiring by your music nasheed and your poems and so my childrens are, i’m expecting you can make concerting in my country Indonesia-Jakarta because you are already very famous nasheed singer in my country. hope you can enjoy life at such that place my ALLAH SWT blessing your family and become the model for nasheed singer all over the world amien…salam..

  12. Pingback: …follow a poet, following goats.

  13. Rana

    Love your blog

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