“Learning about Baha’u’llah has brought a calmness to my life, a peacefulness that I didn't have before,” said Keisha Gayle, a mother of four from Toronto.
She is one of many people from across the country who celebrated the Birth of Baha’u’llah last Friday. From sunset on Thursday to sunset on Saturday, Baha’is and their friends across the world came together to celebrate “Twin Holy Days”: the Birth of Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, and the Birth of the Bab, His Predecessor. Ms. Gayle says it has been life changing to learn about the Baha’i Faith and its teachings.
“The message, the words in the writings, everything about it has given me such a deeper understanding of my role and my need to be of service to my community.”
To help prepare for the celebration, Ms. Gayle – along with some friends – watched the film Light to the World, which tells the story of Baha’u’llah’s life, His Teachings and the impact He has had since proclaiming the Baha’i Faith in the mid-19th century. After seeing the film, she knew she wanted to make something to contribute to the celebration being held in her area.
She decided to paint a large tree with empty branches. Then, with the help of some of the youth and children in her neighbourhood, used multicoloured handprints to add the leaves to each branch. On the trunk of the tree she included a quotation from Baha’u’llah, “Ye are the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch.” This collaborative art piece was used as the centerpiece in her neighbourhood celebration.
The diversity and unity depicted on the tree was reflected in the participants of the celebration. People of all ages, languages and backgrounds participated in an evening filled with prayers, stories from the life of Baha’u’llah, and some songs. Ms. Gayle says the evening has inspired her to keep giving to her neighbourhood.
“Seeing so many people from so many places come together for an evening like this has just reminded me why it’s so important to be of service to my community. I’ve learned how much joy there is in serving others and seeing everyone so happy here tonight makes me want to keep going.”