Dunes

Sand dunes and the ocean have the same effect on me- I have this inner bubble of excitement and overwhelming desire to run straight to them, like a child witnessing something extraordinary for the first time. I had not expected the striking beauty of Namibia, the sprawling land a thousand shades of brown, and the sky a light clear blue, the sand dunes that appear from the cracked dusty ground, suddenly replacing the mountains as we drive towards the coast.

I run up a sand dune, hot, breathless. Burning sand flooding my shoes with each step- fighting the resistance of walking up a sand mountain, my legs in slow motion. In an instant I let go, I’m done, I run down the sand dune, gliding in the silky orange powder. The wind makes patterns and waves in the dune, resembling a sand ocean, the peak of the dunes like impossible waves suspended in the air.

I stumble upon a rock oasis in the middle of the dunes- a white, flat rocky patch surrounded by orange dunes, sweeping up from the odd patch of land that resembles a white body of water. Leaveless trees grow out of the rock, twisted branches jet out of the cracks in contrast to the giant dunes in the background. How can these two things exist at the same time, in the same place?

I awake in the cool desert before dawn, loving equally the first hints of the sun, illuminating the dark sky, as much as the sunrise itself. I climb the dune, up to the highest peak and perch myself on the natural chair of the wind whipped peak. I see the moon on one side and the purple haze of dunes in the distance. The sun rises on the other side like a burst of bright light, blinding me, and bringing out the brilliant kaleidoscope colors of the sand. I scoop up a handful of silk in my hand, letting the fine, smooth sand flow through my fingers.

I acknowledge how much I can learn from nature, allowing myself to fall in love with the sun rising, the dunes, the sand mountain supporting me. Everything changes, constantly. Everytime the wind blows the sand moves with it. The sun inches up into the sky, casting light over the desert, the shadows and colors forever dancing and playing on the sand. Can I allow myself to change this gracefully, to be fluid, to embrace naturally the constant movements of my life?

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