29 Ramadhan, 1439
We've almost reached the end of the fasting month, with roughly three hours to go before we break the fast for the final time this year. It doesn't get any easier - but neither does it get any more difficult. The challenge remains essentially the same, though the details differ. But it's never quite the same body or mind that you're dealing with, the next year on, though you may think it is.
In my first Ramadhan, some time in the last century, I had quite an appetite in the evening and would seek to make up plentifully, and enjoyably, for the travails of the day in those hours of what seemed like freedom. For this Ramadhan I've felt hardly any sense of hunger at all, either during the day, or having broken the fast. Indeed, on a few occasions I've felt overwhelmed by all the grub available and uncomfortably full on going to bed. And it isn't that I've ever really felt terribly thirsty. Dealing with the desire for a drink relates far more to habit than it does to actual need.
I'm guessing I've lost some weight. I checked myself on the scales after the first ten days or so and found I'd lost a couple of kilograms, sending me below my fighting weight. Since then I've had Hamza remarking on my thinness, in that slightly concerned way that suggests a bit of a worry over health rather than any kind of admiration for sharper contours. And Noi has commented a couple of times on the looseness of my jeans, in her case with a view to making sure I don't embarrass us in public by inadvertently revealing too much of myself.
None of this matters in the slightest, of course, compared to the importance of the inner journey the month invites and entails. The places you reach can't be measured, or even mapped. But something of their contours might be remembered, usefully.