Friday, 18 December 2009

Desert Rose

A small cloud of sand arose as I bore my entire weight down upon the ground beneath my feet with each step I took.

The sun scorching and the winds dry, as it slashed almost viciously across my face; each step I took treacherous to my body and arduous to my soul. Was not the promise of the oasis only 4 miles away as the sign had earlier read, but yet, 4 miles have never felt so long and so far.

I reached for the bottle hanging off my belt in hope of finding something to rejuvenate my soul - water, the source of life And yet, as I grasped the bottle firmly with both of my hands, I knew that I had to ration myself properly if I wanted to make it to the next oasis, before I could refill my bottle.

And as difficult as it was, I knew that this was necessary; necessary if I wanted any chance of finding the coveted Desert Rose.

"4.......3......2......1", the markers read, as I bypassed them one by one, with the water in my bottle reducing in a disciplinary fashion with each milestone. Mind over matter perhaps, but it sure took a lot of mind to overcome the matter of thirst, a strain in willpower to limit myself to so little at a time, when I felt like the desire for so much more, but knew that it was a necessity for survival to stick to the regime if I wanted any chance of making it.

Too many have perished along the way, evident from the dried bones that reflected the light of the scorching sun, as I used that as a warning and a deterrent to not allow myself to overindulge in what I had left, reminding myself that I was better than them. Yet subconsciously, I knew that the shadows of Doubt were dancing around at the back of my mind, as questions lingered on whether it was all worth it, whether the Desert Rose was worth risking all for.

These little whispers of doubt grew louder and louder in my head with as I felt the strength sapping from me with each step I took. I raised my bottle to my mouth, and used my remaining strength to attempt to shake out whatever I could from the bottle, but not a single drop was left.

Step after step, I willed myself forward, as I saw the oasis at the horizon, but my legs could bear it no longer, and I collapsed unto the burning sands. Still, I crawled and I inched towards my target, my goal; desperate to get there one way or another.

Unaware of how long I had actually been inching my way one elbow and knee movement at a time, my vision gradually faded and blurred. Skulls and bones littered my left and my right, as I sensed the close proximity between me and them, literally and metaphorically. With a final blurred vision of the oasis still lying near the horizon, I shut my eyes, ready to join my neighbours.

Just as I thought that I felt that my senses were leaving me, something streaked down my face, a familiar feeling of cold and wet. Before I could fully decipher that feeling, I felt another of the same on my back, and then another, and another.

Instinctively, I stuck out my tongue, as I felt the drops gently fall on my tongue and spreading over and trickling down it, each drop rejuvenating my soul little by little. My body had cooled, as I started to find the strength to bring myself back unto my knees, and then gradually to my feet.

By some miracle, I had been saved by the sudden desert rain. And despite my typical unreligious-ness, I couldn't help but feel that perhaps I was indeed under the watchful eye and the guiding hand of a Higher Power, one that was willing to provide a sort of divine intervention when my mortal limits had been reached.

Under the cool of the miraculous rain, the oasis grew ever closer with each step I took - my steps light and renewed, but my mind heavy and pondering.