I am enshrouded in the welcoming smells of desert sand cooling, the dusky smoke of the fire, of roasting lamb slaughtered that afternoon. I recline upon rugs, handwoven by my grandfather (taught by his father, taught by his father…). They are a little musty from being rolled up for too long.
For too long we have walked on carpets made by machines and not men, soaked up the rays of florescent lights, breathed recycled air, listened to artificial music.
We’ve left, gone west into the desert, no map, no plans, no forwarding address. We’ve slipped loose this mortal coil, this mortal toil for older times. We slip into our djellabas like slipping into a warm bed on a cold night – comfortable, comforting, consoling, smoothing away the calluses built up like armor, like a shield against an unforgiving, unwelcoming world.
We’ve left that world behind.
We left at twilight, dusk gathering her cloak about her. She had not yet bejeweled herself with stars. By the time we found our home for the night amidst the hills she’d gone all out for us, diamonds against dusky cobalt.
We wear turbans out here, all of us.
We are doing as we have done for thousands of years. It is us, always us, out here under the stars, laughing with storytellers, singing with song weavers. Out here, we remember.
Out here, we remember who we are.