The desert is a paradox. It dwarfs us in an expanse of sand, under the endless sky. Makes us feel so small, disconnected and insignificant. But we must remember that even a minute grain of sand came from a stone, which broke from a boulder, which fell from a mighty mountain.
And we, too, come from something much larger than our own individual selves.
Since I've been here in Egypt, this lesson has been made so clear to me, time and again. Bedouins in the Sinai mountains, Alexandrian car mechanics, Siwan safari guides and Cairo football fans, all have pulled me into the fold. I like to think that their kindness comes from reflecting on the cycles of life. We are born into this human body; we grow old, together, and pass on, leaving behind a little of ourselves in everyone we've come across. We are monuments to our own shared past, and what we leave behind is dependent on the zest with which we have lived, the people we have shared with.
We are living history.
Here in the White Desert I'm thinking of my Amma, and June Jordan. They, as much as any others, inform my thoughts and feelings. Inspire my actions and interactions. Though they have withered away physically, both from breast cancer, their legacies are tangible.
The extent to which my life will be meaningful depends upon my own abilities to share what they have passed on to me. Namely, that alone I am small, indeed, but the deeper I connect to the People of this Human Body, the greater Life can be.