It all started in one paragraph from National Geographic Magazine. It was about a 3 day unique yoga workshop in the desert. The article rang true, so I decided to call the number in the add. There was chemistry between me and the yogi on the other side of the phone. However, I was not ready to give myself this weekend trip, so I booked it for my partner.
Weeks later my partner came back from the yoga workshop with a huge smile on her face. You’ve got to go there, and ask her to take you to the cave.
So I did. A week later, after a 5-hour drive, I was having a cold beer with the yogi. The verbal chemistry we had in our first phone chat came to visit once again. She introduced me with her unique Italy-like lifestyle, and I loved every line of her script.
She is a yoga instructor, sharing a studio with her sister-in-law. Her partner is a farmer who grows peppers, and her brother-in-law builds mud houses. He also built this lodge, she proudly mentions, while I was scanning the mud-house lodge with curious- impressed eyes.
I live and breathe creativity of others, I feel creative while writing in Hebrew, I know how to capture creative images, and I speak creatively in Hebrew and English. But every time I actually face tangible creativity, as in wood crafting, wool weaving or…mud building, I become speechless. Maybe because it’s a dimension which is beyond my reach.
The moon and the sun switched roles and I was tired. I’ll let you rest now, she read my thoughts and body language. Thanks, I replied and without hesitation I shoot back the inevitable question: could you take me to the cave tomorrow? Sure, she smiled back, I had a feeling you’d like me to, she wrapped up the conversation gently.
The following morning, she introduced me to the mud guy. The talented brother-in-law explained about the conductive qualities of the mud house, the connection to the African culture, the business potential found in this energy efficient building technique, and more. After an hour or so of troubleshooting like conversation, I left his studio inspired and more optimistic than ever. I love asking questions. It maintains the inner child in me. It reminds me to stay humble.
We started hiking into the wild brown desert. We spoke about our kids, compared parenting models, learned from each other’s stories, failures, challenges, and frustrating moments. We felt so comfortable with one another that we even shared our future dreams…
After a talkative hour-long hike, she pointed to the cave. We entered silently and our chemistry came to visit once again. This time in a silent mode. It is rare to find people whom I can share silence with comfortably. But this time I felt I hit the jackpot. For the next hour or so we both meditated silently. In this meditation my mind travelled to the nearby Jordanian desert.
Fifteen years back I was staying in a Bedouin camp, in the heart of Wadi Ram, only 30 KM away in aerial distance. It was a similar silence, deep and honest. One of those in which I felt one with earth, alone with the earth as I could only hear the beats of my heart. All the while observing the pointlessness in my thoughts that were moving in my imaginary mind cable car. When I opened my eyes I saw the cover image of this post, which I named: Silent Mouth.
On our way back, we walked back to the village silently, drinking in small sips out TA meditative soups. In this walk I captured the images of the mountain and the birds.
The morning after the farmer came by with his pick up truck. Hey silent guy, he shouted back at me. Hop in, he pointed at the vacant seat in his truck. I have to check my irrigation system in the green houses, he told me. All I could see is passion. I love people who love what they are doing. They inspire me and make me believe that life is meaningful. For years, he started explaining and competing with the sound of his truck, we have been exporting our products to the growing market of Russia. But now my business is under threat because economic sanctions contributed to the decline of the Ruble, the Russian coin. So why do you still grow them, I asked. I love it, he said.
He explained to me all about the supply chain, the growing markets, competing markets like Morocco, the associated challenges to the Organic EU market and more. He spoke about the competitive edge of the Israeli market which is gained through irrigation and fertilize technologies. Wow, I was thinking to myself, a farmer these days has to play so many roles…
Sunset, the hills behind us were changing their colours. Another day passed in the desert.
We drove back to the village, and I was invited for a last treat. It was an Italian-Israeli co-production scene, as he served us with fresh local dates and espresso. I love coffee and I love dates, I told him, while chewing deliciously this unique cocktail. But you never mixed the two of them, right?! he smirked.
Ever since, every time I want to get back to this moment, I either look at these photos or mix a date and espresso in my mouth…
Sometimes, I can only understand my life through the reflection of others’…
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