As I sit here in this place of utter tranquility I feel calm. The world feels so far away and my problems have stayed with it.
There is no urgency here; no deadlines and no necessary activity. Not even the sound of the rain getting stronger can spoil this moment. The drops of water lightly dust the back of my head and neck, as the birds sing their merry song of the day.
The building I sit near, the same in which I rested last night, is but eight years old. Constructed using traditional techniques, modified to incorporate modern conveniences: plumbing, power and WiFi, sit peacefully coexisting with wooden ceilings and the now familiar pink walls of tightly packed local mud.
Traditional art hangs on the walls, often covering modern necessities. Leather and clay pots are dotted around the lime floors within and the cobbled walkways without. Surrounding the walkways without are an artist’s palette-worth of colours. Purple, red, orange and yellow flowers carpet the beds, flanked by trees of green, both muted and vibrant.
Pumpkins lie next to the wall upon which I ponder, presumably from the same source as the soup that was greatly enjoyed last night. My mouth salivates at the mere memory.
A wander south, up and over the hill is generous in its reward. A landscape only ever seen before through two-dimensional electronic devices lacking the ability to communicate the awe-inspiring nature of the vista before me.
Villages and towns scattered around the scene stand out thanks to the rising towers of their mosques. The surrounding land an even mix of crops and wilderness. A shepherd meanders nearby with his flock, amongst the sounds and smells of nature, betraying the hive of activity within the air of tranquility.
Sitting at a beautifully decorated red table to continue writing, I lament the passing of an eventful holiday in a strange land. Of getting lost and confused, and being found again with understanding and compassion. Of knowing which way is south and, an hour later, being told that was east. Of watching a master barter and an amateur get robbed. Of struggling to resolve the conflict between an upbringing where politeness was essential, and this place where it can be your undoing.
That was Marrakech, this is… I don’t know where, and I don’t care. The sounds of distant donkeys and French-speaking gardeners going about their daily business drift through the air; the buzz of insects and the pitter-patter of rain on the paved paths between landscaped gardens complete the scene.
The wish for more time in this wondrous place lingers in my thoughts, knowing it must wait for another day, another month, another year. But I’ve found tranquility; a place to go, a place to be.
Farewell my friend, ‘til next time.