A simple term used to describe an area of tranquility, serenity and sanity, and although the word and its definition are quite simple, the connotations are appalling and sometimes, even defensive. A sanctuary isn’t just a library, or a corner, or maybe even a park bench anymore, but yet a sanctuary now has become a mother’s arms, maybe underneath a demolished truck, a run down home, maybe even behind a burning building.
We can fool ourselves by reassuring our minds that a sanctuary is an area for solidarity, but to be quite frank, it’s not.
We find comfort in the old smell of pages in a quiet library; but others find comfort in the streets, where bombs are being exploded both left and right.
We find comfort in a small coffee shop, relishing in the aroma of different flavors; but others find comfort when they see small scraps falling out of the garbage.
We find comfort as we take a calm, quiet stroll with nothing but our thoughts invading our minds; but others find comfort when there is a man clad in black, pointing their guns to temples, as they smile and think that they won’t have to endure this pain no more.
We find comfort when we see a loved one rushing to us with open arms as we melt into their warm and protecting embrace; others find comfort when they cradle their loved ones’ bloody bodies for the last time.
We find comfort in a small, dark room as we ponder over the choices we have made; others don’t even have that opportunity as they are laid to rest in their graves.
We all have different meanings and different ideas of a peaceful sanction, but we should always remember that while the west sleeps soundly in the arms of their mother country, the east drowns in sorrow as they desperately seek for a haven.
A sanctuary for an individual can be a mosque, a church, a temple, a synagogue, and even at home. It could be in a nightclub, it could be on the roaring waves as you compete to see who would win, it could be sitting atop your roof whilst the rain is pouring hard and the raindrops trickling from your hair strands, down to your lips, and then to the ground as it repeats itself over and over again.
My sanctuary; my haven, is when I see people from different cultures and views joining hands and smiling, and standing on a platform as they project unity.
My sanctuary is when I see homeless children with beaming grins upon their little faces, their eyes twinkling with excitement and joy as they attend school for the first time, allowing them an opportunity to finally be deemed as “normal”.
My sanctuary, is found through the smile of another.