In The Shifting Sands – Part 3

Part 1

***I realized there were some issues with the initial details of the story after I double checked my research. It has since been updated with the right information. Sorry! But this should help clarify the story which I found didn’t originally line up correctly.

Part 2

The sun emerges over the dunes, and a new day begins as the echo of clanging pots and pans is heard everywhere around the oasis. It is primarily the women who are busy making all the preparations. Their breakfast, much like a continental one, will consist of Arab bread, jam, cheese, egg, and spices. Soon, the familiar smell of Bedouin tea will start to permeate the camp. This traditional tea consists of a mixture of black tea leaves, cinnamon bark, dried wild sage, cardamom pods, and raw sugar brewed slowly in a kettle on an open fire. The most prominent ingredients are sugar and sage, making the tea very sweet and very addictive. Some have called it Bedouin Whiskey.

The camels are awake but lay still on the ground, observing the commotion of the women around them. Having repeated this trek for many years, they know they can now enjoy this temporary role of watchdog and understand that the travels are on hold for now. Soon enough, they will again have to be beasts of burden for the nomads when it’s time to migrate to a different area.

You can hear a mother calling her son’s name, Badawi, from inside one of the tents, probably trying to rouse him from his sleep with the expectation he would help bring water to their camp or possibly milk one of the goats. It’s not unusual to hear that name often in the camps as Badawi is very common for an Arab boy. It has the same meaning as the word Bedouin – people known for living in the desert in tribes and clans, possessing great bravery and loyalty. Bearing this name is, of course, a great honor.

The elders begin to emerge from their tents and meet up at the center of the campsite. They are considered the wise ones in the Bedouin tribes, are highly respected members, and are taken care of as they continue towards the end stages of their lives. The youngest in the community revere the life experience and sageness of the elders. Because of their knowledge, they are tasked to lead, advise and counsel others when needed and frequently sought out for guidance.

The women begin to serve the elders, ensuring they have provided enough tea and food to start their day. Smiles abound, and frequent bowing is observed as the breakfast foods are plated and put before the elders. Everyone takes their time and is thankful for the nourishment provided. And they are grateful for each other, for there is always a feeling of security within their tribe.

“Badawi, come here and pick up the dishes,” one of the mothers is heard instructing her son. “Take them to the edge of the water and wash them thoroughly.”

“Yes, Mother,” the boy replied politely as he gathered the dishes and took them to where the reeds weren’t as thick at the water’s edge. He quickly cleaned them and headed back to the tent, putting the plates away for the next meal.

“Thank you, Badawi,” said his mother. “Now go play for a bit. There’s time before I need to prepare for the next meal. I will call you when I need you again.”

“Yes, Mother.”

Badawi was always very respectful to his mother, as were most of the Bedouin children. He turned and headed towards a group of boys kicking around a ball close to one of the dunes. Every time their feet hit the ball, a dust cloud of sand blew up into the air, too, the boys getting doused with it as well. But regardless, they were enjoying themselves as their laughter could be heard all around.

From a distance, Farid watched the boys play with their little brown ball thinking, “Another year we have to endure them.”

TO BE CONTINUED ON THURSDAY…

Reblog – THE WIND WHISPERS by Charles Robert Lindholm

Being whisked away under false pretenses certainly can be detrimental! While this piece is most likely about the change of seasons, it’s also a great metaphor for deception in relationships. 🙂

The Reluctant Poet

BY CHARLES ROBERT LINDHOLM

THE WIND WHISPERS
IN THE TREES
THE LEAVES
RUSTLE THEIR REPLIES

THE PIED PIPER WIND
SPINS STORIES
TELLING TEMPTING LIES

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In The Shifting Sands – Part 2

Part 1

For centuries, the tribe of Al Wahiba has resided and traveled in the Sharqiya Sands, formally known as the Wahiba Sands, located in Oman. It is an area of approximately 12,500 square kilometers (4,800 sq mi), the terrain containing a rich diversity of insects, plants, and wildlife, as well as plenty of stretches of trees and brush for shelter. As desert areas go, this is possibly the best one to navigate due to the plentiful resources it provided.

During June, the caravan of nomads from Al Wahiba and other tribes finally reach the Al-Huyawah oasis to join the other travelers already at the annual destination. They are all grateful to stop, rest and quench their thirsts and that of their animals with some much-needed water. The herds would also be able to nourish themselves at the oasis as it was plentiful with grass. With dates being in season, it would be an extended stay. All the other resources in abundance would be available until September, meaning they wouldn’t need to continue their journey until later in the year. Here they could reconnect and socialize with the other tribes and their members, and the children would have playmates for a longer period. Every year, it was a homecoming of sorts. One that every nomad of the different tribes looked forward to each year.

As soon as the men, women, and children arrived, they set about getting the tents up, the herds situated safely, and the camels unloaded. The men took command of raising the tents, and once in place, the women would begin to fill them with the carpets, pillows, and the other bedding, while the men made sure all the cooking supplies and utensils were in their proper place. Of course, the children scouted around for playmates during this time and usually found them very quickly. Making camp included the boisterous laughter of children having fun.

Once the temporary shelter was complete, the women began to prepare the first meal at the new campsite. Usually, the arrival day meal would be a relatively simple one. The women were generally not up for going through the motions of a complete, traditional dinner being worn out from traveling most of the day and then helping to set up the campsite. Bread, dried meats, dates, the milk of their animals, and, of course, water from the oasis would suffice for their first evening. Sometimes, the children even found wild berries to bring back to camp for an added treat.

After the enjoyment of the meal, the women cleaned up, and then it was finally time for all to relax and settle into the evening. They’d sit in front of their fires, the flickering flames casting a beautiful glow on the backdrop of the dunes. If there were any artists among the tribesmen, one would probably hear oral poetry spoken, the most popular form of entertainment for the nomads. If none were present at the oasis, then you would likely be listening to many quiet conversations on the wind and even occasional laughter as you do when you are among friends under beautiful star-filled skies.

A few hours later, just about everyone would enter their tents to prepare for sleep. Those who had arrived that day were usually very excited about a well-deserved good night’s rest. Of course, the children would reluctantly be the first to close their eyes while the parents were eager for their peaceful slumber—the wind, shifting the sands outside their tent, creating the blissful melodies lulling them to sleep.

So, with insects burrowing, foxes crying in the distance, and birds singing and rustling tree branches outside their tents, the Bedouin finally rested.

TO BE CONTINUED ON WEDNESDAY…

Summon Your Strength

Redux

I Write Her

Untitled

Mastery – it’s in you.

Don’t you know that? You mustn’t fear it.

Request the presence of greatness.

Open yourself to be filled with it.

Experience the fibers of your neural pathways strengthening, your veins expanding, and your muscles glowing powerfully.

Then,

Breathe in success and

Taste the accomplishment of your own doing.

A god can’t do that for you.

Never has, never will.

Unclasp and do.

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Behind Closed Doors

Victoria Strukovskaya – Unsplash

Inspired by Sadje’s What do you see #81 &
VJ’s Weekly Challenge – What could you talk about for 30 minutes without preparation?

thick green creepers
a beautiful cover
on locked unit 28-5

the lush foliage slyly hides
the horrors
behind those doors

mutti wouldn’t approve
barring anyone entrance
revealing her shameful secrets

**VJ’s prompt – For those who are unaware of my dysfunctional relationship with my mother, Mutti would be the topic I could speak about without preparation for at least 30 minutes, if not a lifetime.

Reblog – Wet Death by Murray Robertson

The visual that this piece evokes almost has you imagining the leaves beneath your feet. But there’s so much more there too. Lovely!

Murray Robertson (photography & poems)

   rain falls
on cold
dead things
      fallen
      from a
certain grace

green leaves
   lose some
   colour, 
drabness,
sets in,

brown leaves
so indistinct
      lay on 
      the cold 
wet earth

      We witness,
almost silent
   as we pass

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In The Shifting Sands – Part 1

Being a primarily desert-dwelling Bedouin Nomad in the arid region of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia, mainly of Arab ethnic descent, is not easy. Living conditions are not the most modern and certainly not convenient. It takes strength and endurance to survive through the long nomadic movements of seasonal migration. Not many are up to the task, as evidenced by the dwindling numbers continuing the practice of their ancestors. But for those remaining, the most determined and the strongest of their people, theirs is a free life. Bound only to their animals, an almost symbiotic relationship, they continue to forge against the extreme elements of weather and the isolation of their surroundings.

Although beautiful on its best days, the desert is a harsh environment with scorching hot days seeing over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and plummeting to freezing temperatures of 25 degrees during the night. While the Bedouin typically move between May and October, the best time for resources for their herds, it is not necessarily the easiest to navigate. Yet, the openness and majesty of the skies during the days and evenings are something to behold.

While the nomads possibly feel tiny in their surroundings under the night sky, the vastness they have willingly planted themselves in must leave them with a sense of being like giants conquering all the paths they take. It doesn’t sound too farfetched to think how this in itself could be motivation to continue onward. Perhaps, that is how the people’s boldness and determination sprung forth, giving them the impetus to remain wandering for so long in history.

The regular movements of the Bedouin, their travels only affected by the seasons and the level of resources such as pasture and water, follow centuries-old routes. They migrate towards areas that provide their animals with enough to eat; in turn, their animals can supply the nomads with what they need to survive – milk, meat products, and wool. The land offers up very little protection or resources but just enough for the nomads to carve out their existence. Their relationship, this alliance between man and animal, is the only thing keeping either of them alive out in the desert. Thankfully, the traditions and practices passed down the generations have also ensured and aided their survival.

Beneath the guiding stars, the people in the tribe and all their animals trek across the shifting sands, leaving familiar patterns behind—campsites, footprints, and animal tracks. They frequently escape the burning heat during the day by traveling at night, thereby easing their efforts to find more resources for their animals. Their belongings are few but necessary. Tents, pillows, quilts, and loads of carpets but only what is needed for some comfort. Of course, pots and pans are required for food preparation, but even those are limited, as are the dried foods they carry. The more weight, the more of a burden they are to their camels. As sparse as it can be, the land is where they take most of what they need. Preserving a delicate balance between capabilities, needs, and preservation is something Bedouins have mastered to endure the harsh terrain of the Sahara Desert.

And so, their travels continue, year after year. The Bedouin Nomads’ lives not affecting those who reside in the bigger cities outside of the perimeters of the desert areas. While the wanderers may be aware of the fixed modernity around them, they remain entrenched in pursuing a life free from the trappings of the societal cultures of the mainstream. They are proud people, defining life on their terms, surviving, and perhaps even thriving by their standards. The rich stories of great ancestors passed down generation from generation enlighten the next, willing unto them volumes of wisdom and a resolve to be content in this life.

TO BE CONTINUED ON TUESDAY…

Reblog – Burn by Stephen Allen

Yes. It is.

Through The Cracked Window (Revisited)

These dreams like ashes float away
a voice I never heard
only ever silence
where were you when hearts bled?

I never thought you’d deceive me
where are you now?
can you stand the pain?
how long will you let it burn?

This pain slowly smouldering
a lesson you never learned
is your world just a broken promise?
is your love just a drop of rain?

Stoic Poetry

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He Killed Again

We had to contain the risk of this getting out, or we faced a public catastrophe, like the psychic predicted would happen in her premonitionSilently and solemnly, the officers took their places behind the crime scene tape when the forensic team arrived.

The LAPD had seen several cases of torture previously, but none had created such widespread panic. A quick scan of all the officer’s faces told the Captain there would be no peace until they had apprehended this killer.

Forensics checked for traces of DNA on the remains, hoping for biological stories about the perp. There were none.

The Long Line Of Democracy

The front of the line is appealling to those at the back of it.

But they’ll stand there for hours, days to have their voices heard.

Maybe they’ll freeze, possibly melt with fever later, but it is their duty.

Inspired by Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Saturday Mix