A hot day in June brought us back to the Valley of Ourika two days ago. A long day of travels by air from Calabria to Rome, onwards to Casablanca and finally by road to Marrakech. We’ve been away much longer than anticipated. Two flight cancellations delayed our return and really forced us into practicing the art of allowing!
Marrakech embraced us with a shimmering heat. I played with the taxi car window endlessly, opening and closing it, indecisive whether the wind, hot as a hair dryer, relieved or intensified the heat. Somewhere a thermometer indicated 43ºC.
Later in the afternoon, lying on a carpet on the terrace and overlooking our surroundings which glowed a deep yellowish colour as the sun slowly disappeared behind the mountains, I once again felt amazement about the differences of the two worlds I had physically been in that day. A short distance away, only a two hours and forty minutes flight from Rome and the world feels, smells, sounds and looks completely different.
We’ve left behind the merry ringing of the South Italian church bells and are now again reminded by mankind’s hunger to know God by the call for prayer from the two nearby mosques. Allah hu Akbar (God is great) echoes simultaneously from both minarets into the valley and I must admit that church bells on a lazy Sunday morning or blended into a concert of street noises, do not make my skin crawl like a man’s cry to God. A slow and monotone singing, briefly carried on by the slightest breeze and the rustle of trees, a peaceful reminder of the presence of something greater