Not the sweet kind, with chocolate kisses on top and a sprinkle of rainbow rice for good measure.
I’m talking about a horizon of sand on the ground, sand in your clothes, and sand in your dry, dry, mouth. You’re thirsting for water, just a drop! but your bottle is empty and it’s dust and bones all around. Oh yea, there was this oasis back there, but it turned out to be an illusion of your tired, broken mind. So much for good luck. You could walk for days, and not find any water – wait what’s that sound? A sandstorm? Right, just as you thought the day couldn’t get any worse.
We’ve all been in our own deserts before: a challenge so tough and demoralizing you felt as if quitting was the only way out. You’re stuck in a scenario where your only lifeline – wait, you have no lifeline. It’s just an endless, hopeless trudge forward with both shoes full of sand. With those cracking lips you force yourself to say a prayer, only because you’ve been cursing for far too long. Breathing feels like hell with all the sand in your nostrils cutting into the skin, you could swear it was some of your own blood that you sniffed up earlier.
And then come those sleepless nights. A time when all the other creatures take refuge in their holes, and rest up for whatever that may assail them the next day. But you? You have nowhere to lay your head, nowhere to hide from the cold. Speaking of cold, when the sun sets in that desert, you’re plunged into a freezer of immense proportions. No place to hide, no place to warm your hands. Is there any respite from this endless torment? Rhetorical question, no points for answering.
So day after day like this, until your rations run out. You stumble onto a real oasis and begin gulping the crystal water like a dehydrated hippopotamus. A cool breeze blows past, and you suddenly feel as if its heaven. You crack open a coconut and hunt for the flesh inside. A purple elephant licks your face. Oh wait a minute…you wake up – it’s just a dream. Of course it’s just a dream. But to have fallen asleep in the cold like this, you consider a miracle already. You’re going crazy, but you have only two options. Move on, or die here.
You choose to move on.
“Hey you!” There’s a shout coming from behind. Auditory hallucination, you think to yourself, and trudge on. “Looks like you could use some help there!” Those hallucinatory voices are becoming more and more tempting aren’t they. You turn around, and see a group of hooded men on camels. You crumble on your knees. Yea right, if only… you start to say to yourself. The men dismount and make their way towards you. One of them offers a bottle and pulls you up. You resist the urge to pinch yourself on your cheek – it’s real, salvation is here.