The White Desert

Late last night, Bedouin music took us to the Black, Crystal, and White deserts, in the heart of Egypt.

I am most calmed next to water; today, sitting alone hearing nothing but wind, and feeling only purity of air, I thought maybe this is more where I belong.

But ocean heals and softens, while desert buries and hardens. Perhaps my belonging to the sand is because these are the things I need more than anything else in my present. I know wholeness will find me by water. Always.

While each stretch had its own beauty, it was the White Desert that took my breath away, and which I can only describe as ethereal. I went for a walk alone, and when the voices stopped carrying, I laid my scarf onto the sand and let the desert have my back.

After feasting and the pitch blackness, I did this again, watching for shooting stars this time. I lost count of them as they split the sky, and managed only one wish because it’s all I had tonight. Instead of asking for more than this, I thanked Him for the ones he had already granted and even those he denied.

Looking at the past, millions of stories in starlight, I wondered who will, the same amount of time forward, be making wishes when my own story’s star lights up these same skies.

Though surrounded by beauty, my favourite part of the day came as we left the desert. My younger cousin, aged 27, and whom I am just getting to know, is in her own pain. Her heart, she let me carry for a little while as we watched the sunset. Driving out of the desert, she placed her head in my lap to fall asleep; I laid her between my palms and sent Quran hoping to soften the sharpness of this day’s desert. Just 15 days ago, momma was doing the same for me.

Today, I am grateful for:
1. The passage of time.
2. The trust of my cousin.
3. Our Bedouin guides who put out an absolute feast, and who performed traditional Bedouin music for us. (May they remain safe.)

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