August 17, 2015

In the desert

Going on a camel trek. The jeep driving through the desert, sitting in the front seat thinking this whole place looks like a border. This feels like the end of the world. Meeting our camels and riding them for the first time – the movement of their back rocking us back and forth as the desert opens in front of us. The pain in our thighs when we dismount.

Stopping under a strange tree to escape the hottest hours of the day. The tree rises from the sand like a dome of thorny branches and pale leaves. Lying down inside this natural tent, and watching our guide throw tea leaves and spices into a pot of boiling water. Cooking chapatis for lunch.

Setting off again at sunset, passing through the loneliest landscape. Carcasses of dead goats lining the path. Reaching our camping place. The golden dunes turning red, and the sand between my feet. Setting up camp, then packing up everything because of a sand storm that never came. Falling asleep listening to our guide singing, and the stars swirling overhead.

Waking up in the morning to find the sand around our camp covered in empreintes of animals – snake, lizard, fox, antilope.

Walk long enough into the desert and instead of dust and death, you'll find life. Pure, unadulterated, life, wild like a spring. I walk barefoot in the sand dunes and the desert holds me like I'm his child long gone, finally returned. And in his arms I feel safe. It's one of these moments when you realize no one knows who you are, because you are so far away from everything. You could disappear.I would disappear here.

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