My mother's currently in Mecca- visiting the muslim pilgrimage site which forms one of the pillars of Islam. She's there for Umrah; the Haj is a far more complicated affair.
A comparatively simple visit, a practise run for the rites and rituals that are meant to strengthen one's faith, to be physically and spiritually closer to God. The Holy Land.
She's not explained to me why she's decided to go; we're not a family to have heart-to-hearts. We share sanitised, PG 12 versions of our problems with Disney-happy endings. I see the tired lines around her eyes and occasionally she drops the facade when it's to heavy to bear.
'there's problems, but it'll be ok'
'im so tired but i cant sleep'
I imagine she's gone to get some respite- a break from the insanity of the daily grind. An opportunity to meditate. A chance to pray in the holiest of places.
I joke and tell my friends she's gone to pray for our souls. I sincerely hope she does.
I really want to ask her when she comes back, 'did you find what you were looking for? And what more did you find?'