How it all started
The desert in Morocco has called me for so long. I didn't know that everything was already there in this longing. Who I am, what I have to do and what it is like to come home with yourself inside. The risk is to take the first step without knowing the next one.
The desert loves me and I love it
The time had come at the end of October 2016. I got on the plane and traveled with a yoga group to Morocco in the highest dunes from Erg Chebbi to Merzouga. After the arrival, the friendly welcome and a late bedtime, I woke up, just a few hours after the tedious sleep and was wide awake. As carefully as a treasure chest, I opened the curtains. It was like the curtain was opening into another life. The desert itself gave me the key in my heart. It was love at first sight. I was amazed at the beauty of the large and golden dunes, the mighty palm trees, the air, the fragrance, the sound of the desert. I took my shawl, sneaked through the hotel I didn't know. No sound was heard and no one was seen. The door to the terrace with a direct view of the desert was wide open. I started the deepest meditation of my life. I felt hot even though it was chilly. I was speechless, even though a thousand words were forming. I was empty, although my soul filled with every heartbeat. The tears ran inexorably and something in me sank into the deepest peace.
That morning the Berbers came back from the desert with their camels some distance away. I heard their voices, their language and it was so familiar to me. It was as intense and attractive to me as if I could go to them, take care of the camels, unsaddle them, provide them with water and food. As if I could just sit by the fire by the men, have breakfast with them and talk over a sip of hot tea. It was not yet ready.
But before I started my trip I wanted to know: What if I want to stay longer? I was told no problem, so I only booked the outbound flight! After a few days in the desert camp, the group rode back to the hotel with the camels. I stayed.
I stayed full of confidence in a country I didn't know, with men I didn't know in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the Morocco desert. My dream came true. The three men were Berbers. They looked after the camp and us two women. Me and Sara, who decided on the spot to stay too. Tamazirt. They taught us the language: Affa for fire, Ayur for the moon, Arum for bread. Alrum for camel. What amused her the most was how we dined from our own plates with a knife and fork. With them the bread was cutlery, and they ate together from a large bowl that stood in the middle of the table.
The ways of the soul
A fire was lit every night and they played and drummed for us. They sang old songs from the Gnaua tradition, their original, black African music. One of them was MBarak. He had addressed me days before on the way to yoga: "You are not German, tu est Famme de Berber," and smiled at me. I smiled back. Something relaxed between us, which we experienced a few days later, when we drummed for the full moon Ayur. We had too few words for a common language and so the music set the pace. The rhythm carried us up to the sky: one asked and the other answered, like on a ladder, from one octave to the next, like a wave, like an unstoppable wave that carried us away from this world to another, to another dimension in which we met a long time ago. That became clear to us that night. We found ourselves across continents. The Berber and the nomad woman.
Grandfather's special place
Next spring when we meet for the third time did he took my hand and pointed at the ruin. "My grandfather lived here," he said. We sat down on the ground in the remaining four walls without a roof. It became a silent prayer. The spirit of the grandfather could be felt as if he spoke to us, "here you are at last. I built my inheritance to you here with my own hands, from what I had and from what Allah gave me. You will bring it back to life. You will make it a place where singing, dancing and joy are at home. Everyone will be welcome and continue their journey with a full heart."
Inschallah! And so it maybe.