The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Circle in the sand

A desert wind blew in and left a trail of fine, orange dust in its wake.  They say that the desert is full of sand. But this is nothing like the grainy substance on our beaches. It’s as fine as the finest talcum powder. Only the colour is all wrong.Sandstorm (1)
When the scirocco blows it here in the belly of strange-coloured clouds, there’s nothing much we can do except wait for the storm to pass and then grab a broom, sweep it into a pile and throw it away. But this time, just as I was about to get rid of it, I plunged my fingers into the little powdery mound. And for a moment it seemed as if the Earth had stopped spinning, as the realisation hit me: that I’ve never been to the Sahara but I’d just touched it with my fingertips. This same sand that was now in an innocuous pile before me had been buffeted by the breath of a thousand different winds and scorched by the heat of an unforgiving sun, only to end up on this alien shore. In a pile. At my feet.Sandstorm (2)
I traced a circle through this fertile dust in which nothing grows and wondered how many weary travellers’ bodies it had embraced; how many camels had left their footprints across its lonely miles  and what exotic creatures called it home? I raised dusty fingers to my face and felt a tingle running down my  spine, followed by a strange sensation that miles and miles away a strange figure in an indigo-blue veil was watching me through narrowed eyes. Maybe my world had collided with his.Sandstorm (3)
Our farmers say that this desert dust fortifies our soil and nourishes the fledgling plants. I gathered the dust and scattered it gently on the surface of my garden soil. Perhaps it would help my flowers grow. Miles and miles away it seemed as if that solitary figure nodded in agreement and silently rode away into the endless expanse of the desert.Sandstorm (4)
You may read more about this strange desert wind in one of my first posts here.


  1. I love how everything is connected - like the connection of the desert dust that fortifies the land where you life, which is miles and miles away. Even a tiny dust has a noble purpose and so do we.

  2. The Sahara in your home that's something special ! I have been several times in the Sahara in different countries, watching sunsets or just on the back of a camel. It's wonderful !

  3. Hello Loree,

    This is a deliciously mystical post.

    The desert fascinates with its vastness and the feeling, as you so beautifully express here, that it contains many stories as old and as exotic as the Arabian Nights. And, for this sand to be swept to your feet on the wings of clouds over countless thousands of miles, how amazing is that.

    We shall be intrigued to know how this sand works its special magic for you over the coming year......

  4. Dear Loree - amazing how the wind carries that far away sand to your island. Your words add magic and touch me my friend. I always love seeing your beautiful pictures and then when you team them with your writing it is as if I am standing where you are seeing and feeling what you are experiencing as well. Thanks for sharing this great post dear friend.

  5. I Love your thoughts HERE!Of course, it will HELP your garden grow................
    Plus, you have a NEW friend with narrow eyes!!!

  6. That's fascinating that farmers believe the desert dust fortifies the soil...I never knew that. Your lovely post reminds me of a scene in The English Patient in which Almasy explains to Katherine about the winds during the sandstorm in the desert.

  7. Oh I am so glad that I didn't miss this entirely for it surprisingly moved me nearly to tears! I have been on the Sahara and yes, that same wind brings those sands just to Provence but there was something so...yes, the Hattatts are right (they always are)...mystical about what you made and experienced in between those two places. Beautiful writing as always, Loree.


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