An observant Muslim’s memories of Christmas in Kashmir

I learned the mellifluous music of Christmas in Kashmir.
Kashmir with its verdant, rolling hills; sparkling snow topped mountains; 
gushing streams; 
dew sprinkled meadows in summer and snow flake blanketed meadows in winter; 
horses with trappings, sleigh bells, shingled roofs, and the cocooning smell of burning wood in furnaces; 
the aroma of pines, firs, and conifers; 
a fertile landscape inundated with the alluring ripeness of loquat, cherry, apple, pomegranate trees, firmly denying stagnation or any hint of barrenness; 
an unmistakable vitality and zeal for life in the air; 
the mellowness of winter that becalms the harried soul; 
the lustrous snows of winter that promise to expiate the most egregious sin; 
the tenuous throes of infancy in the vibrant atmosphere of spring, with tenderly sprouting flower buds feeling their way into existence; 
the unflinching faith of the mystic in communion with the divine; a mysticism that cannot be reduced to history.

I wish all my friends and family a wonderful Christmas!

NOTE: A native of Kashmir, Dr. Nyla Ali Khan is an Oklahoma-based academic, and a widely published author. Her commentaries have appeared frequently in The City Sentinel newspaper and on CapitolBeatOK, an independent news website based in Oklahoma City. Dr. Nyla’s newest book, forthcoming in the New Year, is  “Educational Strategies for Youth Empowerment in Conflict Zones: Transforming, not Transmitting, Trauma.” (Springer)