Friday, April 6, 2012

Ending and commencing

Since we arrived in Morocco...

Barren fig trees have grown resplendently leafy and luxurious.
Snow-capped mountains have melted away, leaving endless shades of green and dirt.
Ripe oranges, plucked, have given way to orange blossoms, whose fragrance delicately scents the hot, heavy air.

And me?

I've gotten to really live somewhere different. To linger in cafes. Luxuriate in a country where time feels slower. Experience a new culture from an insider perspective. Walk in the deep plush sand of the Sahara. Meet artisans carrying on ancient traditions in their crafts. Dip my toes in chilly ocean waters. Binge on pastries that cost just a quarter each.

To learn what I love in Morocco, and where I want to spend more time.

I'm lucky.

And yet. If only.

Six weeks is not really enough time to "find" yourself. That phrase I always hated, finding it so self-indulgent. I felt like big ideas about life really started flowing, but only the last few days. Or maybe it's the pressure of something ending that started them, rather than the whole amount of time away.

I'm not sure.

And so on.

Back in NY, we're starting to re-settle 3200 miles from where we lived before our trip. I'm from here, but it feels new after a decade on the West Coast. It's scary...but also exhilarating. We've got a lot of exploring ahead of us, and I'm hoping to write about it here.

Because something I did learn is that I like writing in this blog.

Mirages and Oases

Pretend you're driving through a desert. You see a small pond on the right side, but as you drive by, you realize it's just a mirage. But it looks so aren't sure now. A little further on, you see a sliver of a huge gorge. In the gorge is a river, and it's surrounded by an epic number of palm trees, lush green grasses and mud houses. You blink your eyes. Drive on, and it's gone. Two minutes later, it's back...and bigger. It's not a mirage. It's a date oasis, and down in the oasis it's as lush as Kauai. of the coolest things ever is to drive in a brown desert and come across and oasis. Next time we come back to Morocco, we're going to stay in one and hike for a few days. In the cool, shady air down of an oasis.




I'm not sure you can even tell how deep this gorge is. The oasis goes on for miles.


Above are all pictures of the Ziz Valley oasis, on the road to Merzouga.



Here is the oasis at the town of Tinghir, where the Todra Gorge is located. Stunning, huh? There are lots of them in Morocco - if you have any tips, please share them in the comments.