I Remember the Heat

I remember the heat.

The dry warmth that flowed over everything. The walls, the pavement, even the trees. The wind itself gusted in tandem with the hot aura of this scorching, yet peaceful place.

In the distance, a man was singing. I couldn’t understand him, but I yearned to. His voice flowed with the heartbeat of the day, his tone feeding the city with a pulse of life.

Five times he sang, and five times did the world breathe. From dawn till dusk, from day till night. The spirit of this land was a cooling fire.

From one city to another, a desert to pass. The sun blazed in its everlasting glare, its rays seeming to fly on the air. At the new city, there was a beach, and water; a sea that wasn’t really red.

This place was different. Warmer, yet somehow also cooler. Here, I remember no walls; no pavement, no desert. And the trees were taller. They even had fruit. Dates, I think.

There were men on the beach. Instead of a song, they used words and pipes to breathe. I still couldn’t understand them. This place smelled strange, like incense and smoke mixing with the smells of the sea.

The sun still shone, its inferno providing an eternal heat. Yet, the sun's rays were stolen by the ocean's waves. The water called, beckoning as a golden mirror, to see what was underneath.

Upon closer inspection, the water wasn’t gold, but was as clear as ice. From the clear and the gold came a confluence of color, moving, swimming, and shining. I put on my goggles. 

I looked in wonderment at the life, under the sea. It was the first real rainbow I ever saw. The coral, too, had color, their stoic beauty as brilliant as the fish.

The ledge came next. The color behind and below, sinking into the darkly beautiful depths. I could not see the bottom. It was as if the future, a place of unknown ends.

On the beach again, we prepared to return to the city where I heard the man singing. Over the desert, and past the sun. X marked the spot where the warm walls returned. Home.

The mystery of this land, my childhood sanctuary, the past that defined my future; it is the story that will forever be mine.

This land was alive, this land breathed. The shining sun, the singing man, the blowing sands, the sea of color amidst the brown and the gray, the green of the palm leaves. Arabia, it was called.

As a child, the simple wonder of life drew me in. Today, ideas and theories, deeper understandings; they make me who I am. But it started with a glimpse.

A glimpse of life, of a land that was my home for the earliest foundations of my years. I remember it in images, in feelings. I remember it by its colors, its sounds, its smells. And, most of all and again,

I remember the heat.

Pictured above is my family (my sister hadn't been born yet). From left to right: my father, my brother Jimmy, myself, and my mother. Oh and, of course, let's not forget the camel!