I traveled on foot through in an exotic land. It was a place where tall sea cliffs and orange sand dunes merged seamlessly, and with every day that I walked, subtle changes in the landscape afforded new perspectives of unbelievable beauty. Every sunrise and sunset was worthy of a painting: sand, rock, sea, and sky in endless visions of colorful warm light. My nights were spent at the coziest, most comfortable lodgings a rustic and remote area such as that could offer. They stood on the further side of sandy elevations, protected from coastal winds, lined by an arid, weather-beaten vegetation, surrounded by sandbanks. These wooden houses stood at precisely a day’s calm walk from each other. The distance was so that I could a spend the night at the cabin and in the morning resume my stroll with no rush. I walked the day away free from worry and from the disfigurement of pollution, crowded apartment buildings and other human spoils. My path showed only the beauty of nature. The only human interventions were these cozy cabins, put there so as to provide the right amount of material comfort to facilitate the human experience of the divine, in service of the journey of the soul. I walked the day away and, right before sunset, there was another such cabin awaiting my weary feet, a snug room with a soft mattress embracing my tired limbs, huge windows allowing for a broad view of the waves, well-made wooden panes filtering the moonlight, the sound of the ocean leading me to a peaceful night’s sleep.
My only difficulty was choosing the next path: I could either go along the coastline by boat, where I would have an imposing view of the looming cliffs and its lower ramparts, the angry waves foaming as they broke against the rocks; or I could continue by land as I had been doing until then, following wild pathways over the sandy terrain that bordered the shore, where the sight of sea waves breaking against the rocks greeted me every minute of the journey.
I chose the land track instead of the ocean, and went ahead. Other travelers and pilgrims walked along that same sandy road, and for the first time since the beginning of the adventure I had to deal with other humans. I hadn’t advanced much when I realized I was inside a huge castle right at the edge of the cliff. Its man-made foundations were so gradually blended into the geomorphological compound of the naturally-built rocky precipices, that it seemed to emerge from the ocean depths just as an ancient fortress in the lost island of Atlantis. It was, however, not an island, and the surrounding land stretched infinitely in a harsh, barren, and completely desert country.
Each room of the fortress had a different color, reflecting a distinct mystical and spiritual property: there were rooms with monks, priests, rabiis, fakirs, druids, sorcerers, and witches. Others were empty, but invited me in with their intricate architectural delights, so that each step led to the contemplation of beauty and a subsequent meditative attitude. In one of the simplest rooms, I caught sight of the ocean through a side window. The contrast of the room’s yellow and orange walls with the deepest blue of the ocean left me positively bedazzled, and I had a wish to travel even further, to a land even more unknown, a far-away place that would bring me healing, peace, and understanding.
As if some superior being had heard my silent prayers, I began to hover weightlessly over the temple. I floated through the air as if it were water, or as if I were a most gracious mixture of bird and human being. From up there, I took notice of a confined area in a corner of the fortress; it was a side-room, connected to the main building by a narrow causeway. Approaching it from the air, hovering above it, I realized it was a prison cell, for there were bars blocking all windows and the only door. The atmosphere around it wasn’t dark or heavy; it conveyed, rather, atonement and renewal. I prayed for the inmates, for their spiritual illumination, and for their being able, like me, to fly over the temple and relish in that beauty made of water, sand, and stone.
From then on I traveled by air, flying like a bird. I hadn’t travelled long when I reached my destination: it was another exotic land, where, again, every corner revealed a new, fantastic discovery. There were mandalas with precious gems, Buda statues, images of saints and mystical figures, all in bronze, gold, and stone, greeting me in every street. Street signs and shops were in a language written with intricate, beautifully-drawn characters I had never seen before, yet somehow they were not completely unintelligible, but rather familiar. There were women wearing veils, men with great black beards, their dark, piercing eyes half-hidden under colorful turbans, surrounded by orange rocks and yellow dunes that melted into a blurred, pale sky, as if land and heavens were bound together just a few hundred meters away, bringing me closer to the horizon, and the desert landscape was the embodiment of divinity itself. There I rested.