Wednesday, May 1, 2013

12th Day of Ridvan

Today marks the end of the 150th anniversary of the best going away party I know of. I can't imagine having to say goodbye to someone I love more than my own mother, but renting a garden dubbed "paradise" for 12 days sounds like an excellent start.
A beautiful map found on David Merrick's site. The green is the location of said garden. 
When Baha'u'llah was exiled from Baghdad to what is now Istanbul, a garden just outside the city was rented for the heart-wrenching farewell.

A new spin on Effie Baker's photograph looking across the river Tigris to the city of Baghdad around 1930.
Original photo found here.
Sadness gave way to absolute bliss when He proclaimed His Purpose, the whole of humanity refreshed and renewed. No words I could ever conjure would do this day justice, but I am ever grateful to be living on this side of it with all the advances and comforts of today that a new humanity has brought about. The closest I've come to being transported to that time and place was reading Adib Taherzedeh's account, an excerpt of which can be found here.

Photo Credit: Secret Sounds Second Sun

Draw near, and tarry not, though it be for one short moment…

Rejoice with exceeding gladness, O people of Baha, as ye call to remembrance the Day of supreme felicity, the Day whereon the Tongue of the Ancient of Days hath spoken...
Here we go rejoicing. I just made chocolate filled crescent rolls for breakfast. They happen to be our neighbor's favorite, so we can chat about the day of supreme felicity with her and her full belly. The kiddos are old enough now that they're the ones planning things. Max is creating a coloring book for kids as a service. Zora plans to make popcorn balls and dress up real fancy for children's class. 
And the educator in me won't be able to resist the geography & history lessons therein.
On the last day, today--150 years ago--Baha'u'llah left the garden, mounted on a roan stallion, beginning a three month journey to Constantinople as He passed by hundreds of friends, officials, notables and religious leaders gathered for a last glimpse. 
Shoghi Effendi writesA caravan, consisting of fifty mules, a mounted guard of ten soldiers with their officer, and seven pairs of howdahs, each pair surmounted by four parasols, was formed, and wended its way, by easy stages, and in the space of no less than a hundred and ten days, across the uplands, and through the defiles, the woods, valleys and pastures, comprising the picturesque scenery of eastern Anatolia, to the port of Samsun, on the Black Sea.
If you wander over to Google maps, you can chart a path from Baghdad, Iraq, to Istanbul, Turkey, and get directions for a journey on foot. Google seems to believe that it will take you 395 hours (taking the shortest route), but warns: "Use caution – This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths." Duly noted. 
A fellow pioneer and blogger, James Howden, ends his Ridvan post:
“In the rose garden of changeless splendour” – and in my home and adopted towns, and yours, too – “a flower hath begun to bloom, compared to which every other flower is but a thorn, and before the brightness of whose glory the very essence of beauty must pale and wither…” -Baha’u'llah

This post is part of a series shared with bloggers who far out-rank me in talent and loveliness (they probably even smell better, so thank goodness for cyber relationships), hosted by All Done Monkey. Check out the complete list of awesomeness here.


  1. Nice post :) I appreciate seeing that map on top! Honestly I've been confused about why many people were able to visit him bit others weren't because of the floods. Now I see that part of the city is on the same side as the garden. Thank you!!!

    1. Thank David. :) I'd like to print it on heavy paper and water color it for hanging. I have a map-nerd of sorts for a husband.

  2. Lovely, my lovely! Thanks for a beautiful synopsis. :)

    1. I'm closely following your trip, dearest!

  3. What a beautiful way to wrap up our series! Love the map! And very cool to hear the kids' plans. Can't wait til my boys are old enough to help with planning how to celebrate!