25 November 2009

Impa and the desert (1)

In which Impa says goodbye to the dust but keeps the desert with her


I lower my body into the tub. My skin wears the desert dust; there's sand in my hair. As the water encloses me, I hesitate. My hair is stiff as string, twined by the desert wind for a week. 'A threefold cord is not quickly broken.' I'm reluctant to wash out the dust and the sand, to let go of the last tangible bit of desert. As I sink into the water deeper and deeper, I feel my hair starting to float and wave through the water. I feel my ears fill up and close my eyes. 

As soon as my face is submerged and I return the desert dust to the elements, I feel I'm in a different place. The water encloses me the way the sun did. The whirl caresses me the way the wind did. The water carries the softness of the dust, the same mild caress as the endless light and space of the desert.

Taking a bath is different with the new senses the Sahara desert gave me. With my heart still so wide open and surrender still so close at hand. And then I realise that I can simply let the desert go, there, in that warm water, because it is all around me. Because my senses can drink in silence, space, movement, stream and light anywhere. 

'Everything is just right the way it is. The people you will meet, will be the right ones, at the right time. The things that will happen, will be the right things, at the right moment. Things come and go as they do, and what's past, is past.'

The next morning my love and I walk along the river in Nijmegen. I feel the wind on my face and hear the sounds of the city waking up. The traffic, the ships. And underneath the noises I can hear, very clearly and very friendly; the silence. 

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