The sea and the desert are one. Vast expenses reflecting the skies’ immensity where souls can only but reach mystical heights.
Winds blow, sands drift, waves come upon the shore, lifting boats and caravans of hopeful travellers like thoughts adrift in contemplation.
The sun is seen throughout its entire journey. At night, it becomes the moon, oblique or half shaped, while the stars light the way tracing routes deciphered only by the most sophisticated travellers. How can the soul not be stirred?
The rain assails like an emotion touching the senses. Like love, rain seeps and gives life. Like anger, it dilutes and amplifies. Salt and sand both veiling the water’s sweetness.
Man journeys on them with similar languor, always looking ahead. The camels’ strides vibrate like wavering sails. Vast as they may be, they are but passageways. Like doubts of the wise, they are not destinations but open journeys.
Through storms, the sea and the desert curve the land and shape the life of man. They are bountiful and scarce all at the same time. Like the wheel of life, they give as easily as they take away, with unforgiving roughness and yet, unimaginable softness.
Just like the desert rose and the coral reef, stillness is but an illusion. Akin to passion and tranquillity in the pilgrim’s heart, waves arrive and dunes appear unannounced. Moved by currents and winds, they give rhythm to incessantly changing landscapes.
No matter the passage of time, both the sea and the desert remain immaculate. Just like white foam dissipates in the vastness of water, and prints disappear after the passing of caravans, beauty manifests itself oblivious to the presence of man.
Under the unwavering sun, far off coasts become oasis, both mirages dissipating when approached. Before you embark on your journey, remember – the mystical path is full of illusions.
– This is a text I initially wrote many years ago after spending long periods of time in the desert in Africa and the Middle East. I have been revising it ever since as my travels took me back to the desert and to the sea. .