Friday, December 11, 2009

The Desert:

I like reading particularly two books of Antoine de saint Exupery, Terre des Hommes and Le petit prince. In both books he presents the desert as a symbol of the crude human struggle for survival. If you are lost in the desert, and have to walk the sun-burnt sand, arid and scorching under your naked feet; if you have had to meet with hunger and thirst and loneliness that characterize a desert experience... I believe you would come to admit that it is near hell. The desert symbolizes solitude, hardship, hunger and thirst... but above all these, it is the hope it offers, the call to persevere that is the most important.

The most beautiful thing about the desert is that it always hides an oasis somewhere. One has to seek it, patiently, persistently, unswervingly. ...

The desert of our soul may lead us to the utter awakening that life starts all over again, that it has those surprises that wake us up to the calm after the storm, to the shine after the darkness of dawn.

This image of the desert in Antoine de Saint Exupery is so meaningful to me because it tells the allegory of life. I have learnt two things from the pedagogy of the desert. In the march across the desert one is not supposed to be heavy laden with stuff, one is supposed to bear only the essential. That is the experience of Israel across the desert of Egypt. The second thing is the will to persevere in the search. Although the desert is so arid and scorching with heat, it reserves its surprises, it has its rewards too.

Each one of us has his nights, dark and awful. But the stars never fail. Each one of us has his own deserts but an oasis is hidden just steps ahead, steps that only the remaining strength could bear us to. Each one of us has his moments of solitude and utter rejection... but the friend we seek is in the stranger whose language we may not understand. Always there is a sense of hope, a hidden strength that lies within, we have to discover and fan it into a dazzling flame. Each one has this strength, the gift of God, and grace of nature.

These are lessons of life I did not learn in school. I knew that the darkest moment of the night is dawn which precedes the sunrise. When things are seemingly hard and difficult to take, when friends depart and comfort is taken from my palms, when I walk the barren landscapes of life with a despair chilling within my heart, the hurts, painful as they may be - the discomfort of having to sacrifice a lot of what is precious to me just to give meaning to the moment, to my life- all these seemingly negative experiences call me out of my stupor to heed in the changing seasons of life, the call to hope, to love, to compassion. It can always be a sign to seek deeper for the thing that gives us greater life.


Anonymous said...

my own deserts i call them freefalls.jump out of plane and the parachute just happens not to disengage this time around. u find urself going with no resistance.then the oasis is some safe spot to land without major injuries.everyone goes through them to better understand why it could not be otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful reaction... I like that. I feel like this is an author by heart.

welcome to the WORLD OF HAVEN VALLEY

I am not a cut different from the ordinary human who walks the street. But in my journey, I strive to understand the music that surges from the wide worlds within every individual, that which makes him/her that fragile and sacred at the same time. I have found myself sometimes looking at someone farting with thumps-up as though goading him on to sanity. Seemingly meaningless things have been things that have communicated sense to me especially during louring hours. That is what this journal is. I offer these thoughts to the world with wonted pleasure and gratitude to all that awakens the human in me.

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