Sometimes the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives can leave us feeling a little lost and from time to time we need a space to be fully present, nowhere to be but with the nature, culture and people of our planet.
Driving through the foothills of the Atlas Mountains was an incomprehensible kind of feeling, where all I could do was observe its vastness, in all its glory. With the road curving through the tremendous landscape and sunbeams shining through the trees lining the roads, I felt at home.
Venturing a little further past the crowds, we parked next to a shaded road lined either side with trees. There was already a calmness in the air, and with our backpacks on, we began our hike into Morocco’s untouched countryside.
Knowing that the landscapes we faced had been seen only by the few that chose to leave the car behind and walk, made the whole experience even more special. Sitting securely up in a tree, with its branches intertwined with one another, the feeling of oneness with nature seemed effortless in that moment. We sat there discussing the ways in which trees communicate with each other. It’s easy to forget that even though we can’t hear them, they are very much alive, collectively.
Continuing along our trek, we came across many plants used in traditional healing in the Amazigh culture. For example, Juniper is a tree whose leaves are commonly ground up and consumed with water as a medicine to cure coughs and colds.
The locals were so welcoming and warm hearted as we sat down in front of a table filled with various condiments used for dipping bread. Honey produced in the beehives just outside the house, Amlou (a traditional Moroccan nut butter consisting of ground nuts, typically almonds or peanuts, argan oil and honey) hand ground by the lady of the house as well as Olive Oil were the perfect snacks to be greeted with, not to mention the wonderful Moroccan tea and the company of baby goats!
It seemed there were surprises around every corner! One of the old doors had an impressively large key in it which is probably not so easily misplaced! 😉
I am continuously amazed by the quantity of freshly grown produce found in Morocco. With every path we took, another fruit or vegetable was growing either in the wild or in a someone’s garden. From hanging grape vines and olive trees to pumpkins and aubergines, the variety was incredible.
As we continued walking through various different shrubs, old abandoned buildings and many an argan tree, we came across a valley in which a natural water pool glistened. Clear turquoise blue waters – a heavenly spot for lunch, a cooling swim and some rock jumping! Time felt like it didn’t even exist as we drifted care free, watching as schools of fish swam by beneath our feet. An unforgettable experience, I’m sure.
I think, when you don’t worry about time, life makes time for you. Being wholly present enables a new perspective on the world to grow. It seemed the people of the mountains lead a much slower life in comparison to the fast pace life many of us lead back home. There is something to be said for this and I am not saying we should all escape from our current lives and go and live in the mountains, but what I am saying is, let’s take a few more conscious moments in our daily lives. Walk to work and admire the beauty that is the world, there is so much more than we sometimes think. Take a trip to another country, explore the nature, the culture and meet new people. With new experiences, we learn new things about ourselves and the world around us.