On your first visit to the desert of southern Morocco you might notice a lot of brown. On first glance your gaze may be filled with it. The mountains, filling the horizon. The ground, littered in sand and rocks. The houses, built out of the clay they stand on. Even the camels, if you are lucky enough to happen upon a herd, are brown.
But if you take the time to look, to really see the landscape around you, you wouldn’t describe it as brown.
Here’s what I see:
In the early hours of the morning, when the mountains are tinged with soft blues and purples,
The blue scarves, wrapped carefully atop men’s heads, protecting themselves from the harsh Saharan sun beating down,
The radiant purple flowers shooting up over the mountains after the torrential floods, signaling the beginning of spring,
The vibrant red of a freshly picked pomegranate from a tree in the oasis, its small fruits spilling across the ground as you crack its outer core,
The way the stars shine on a clear night, and seeing a shooting star is more of a when than an if,
The joy in little children’s eyes as we run and play and duck and hide, their happiness and inner light exuding carefree bliss, to which no passerby cannot mirror,
These are the things that I see. This is the desert that I love.
It’s anything but just brown.