Thursday, 30 May 2013

Desert ponderings...

Each day different, though the heat outside smoothes over everything and seems to suck out energy... so that, thinking back over these days in Dubai, all seems a golden warmth, and what I recall most clearly are the voices of people here (the boys, friends, acquaintances...)
Inside the house, though, with the airco on, life is most pleasant. Yet all the time I find myself thinking: this is a land for camels and snakes curving through the sand, home for the ubiquitous ants (large as black raisins).
The constant water-sprinklers, showering the grass and flowers in the hot hot sun, are more than an absurdity. My great neice and nephew are climbing (mount) Snowdon in Wales, part of a fund-raising effort to assist in providing clean water in parts of the world where this is a high priority need. And here, the utter waste of resources, together with the crazy empty skyscrapers (beautiful uninhabited architecture) reminds me again and again of lines by Shakespeare commenting on people's topsy-turvy sense of values.
That said, there is something most impressive about how this desert has been made to blossom as the rose... roses abound! And I love the care that is given to education, the learning centres, the schools which my grandsons attend, the activities for very young children (swimming lessons for two-year-olds, in outdoor pools which have huge canvas "wings" suspended on high to keep the sun off the swimmers).
Half of the year the climate here is a joy. So good for children to be able to play freely outside, run and swim. But in the summer months it really does get too hot. I fear for my grandson Nathan with his red hair and pale skin. The brilliant burning sun should never reach a skin like his (but it does!).
When we were in Cappadocia (Turkey) I kept myself as covered-up as possible and happily survived (though there the temps weren't up into the 40s yet as it was still early May).
See pic above.
Like many others, however, I feel lured by the desert, would like to creep out of the house in the night and sleep outside under the stars (well wrapped-up, for the nights grow almost as cold as the days are hot!). The desert holds a deep silence. You can scarcely hear the rustling of a snake curving across the sand.
And it makes you still and fills you with wonder and respect.
Here more than any other place I've visited, I feel the vastness of the universe, and my own littleness. And wonder at people's absurdity
Looking as it were, from outside, or above, I wonder what these tall tall structures of glass and steel are all about?
Why sprinkle water on grass in the desert, as if it were an English lawn? Why eat hot roast beef and roast potatoes when outside it is more than 40 degrees?
Desert musings, while outside it is too hot to think...
Tomorrow night I fly back to Istanbul and thence rejoin David on the boat Stroemhella, in Antalya.

This was taken near Kapi Creek, on the Lycian coast west of Antalya. Distant snowy mountian, still waters of the morning (wind gets up in the afternoon).

Quiet desert, quiet sea!

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