When I signed up for this adventure I signed up and paid and then just sat back. To be honest I didn’t do more than glance at the itinerary or any of the details. I know Michelle and I trusted her and part of what I was looking forward to was participating in this trip without having to work out all of the details. I trusted her eye, her taste and how she would take me somewhere. And she did.
After getting our footing after our long travels to Marrakech it was now time to pack up and make the trek out into the Saharan desert. We would be traveling along the original caravan road and each mile would bring us closer to a world a deeply desired simplicity. The views of the Atlas Mountains would remind us of our temporary place in this world and the old fire towers standing high above would gently whisper how we all need to still find our way home and be forever guided to what is next.
Curving roads with tight corners and steep drop-offs where distracted by hours of beautiful conversation with my friend Lorraine Bell. As Alexis sat in the front seat of the bus so she could see everything and try to keep motion sickness at bay I would be farther back not wanting to see any of it.
Michelle and Kamal have formed the most beautiful relationships with artisans and small business owners from Marrakech out into the desert. We stopped at Dar Isselday for a much-needed bus break and we were treated to not only a beautiful lunch but a piece of land and gardens that had been so lovingly curated. It felt like we had stepped into a secret garden.
The next stop will probably be an experience that I will hold tight to for the rest of my life. Michelle had arranged for us to meet with local women artisans that were rug weavers and wool dyers. As a mom and business owner, I identified instantly with the women creating and homemaking and child watching all rolled together. Without a language between us, our smiles and hugs and respect for each other was palpable.
There was an unexpected moment after the women shared their dying processes where I had to catch my breath as my tears began to fall. I thought they were going to offer us tea but instead, we walked into a long room with table after table of desserts. They must have cooked for days. Out in the desert with limited resources and modern conveniences and they cooked for days. For us. It is one of the most beautiful acts of kindness I have ever been shown.
We were then given the opportunity to shop from their beautiful hand dyed and weaved rugs. So many of the women walked away with treasures that day and I walked away with the determination to continue supporting women, their gifts and finding more ways to connect us. I have always believed that we want to do more for each other but we often do not know what to do. Lord, please show us how to love on those all around us. Please! Let us be the biggest encouragers to the dreams and gifts of others. May our eyes be forever open!
*Caravan Road-the stretch we traveled was between Marrakech and into the Sahara Desert. It is the antique trail that the nomads would travel for trading.
*Fire Tower-stone towers high on the hills as you travel. Years ago the towers would have a fire going at night to guide the way of the travelers.
You can read Part V HERE.