Monday column: A sand crystal of eternity

Opinion Sunday 24/March/2024 16:36 PM
By: Saleh Al-Shaibany
Monday column: A sand crystal of eternity

I was wondering what it was like to be a grain of sand on the desert as the wind was blowing dust on my face when I was taking a walk an hour before Iftaar.

I stopped, shielded my face from the dust with my hand and waited long enough for the force of the wind to die down. Then I stepped out of the paved road and grabbed a fistful of sand. I rolled them from one hand to another just to feel their weight.

Then I parted my fingers and let the sand dropped down to the ground. I think people who passed me by thought I was crazy.

Probably they were thinking the thirst and hunger pain of Ramadan was having its toll on me.

But I was oblivion to their stares and concentrated on the task in my hands. I looked at my right hand and picked the biggest grain. It was a crystalised grain of sand. I pressed it with my index finger and raised it above from the rest. I picked up a piece of stray paper and dropped the tiny crystal on it. I let the sun shine on it. It was shining brightly as I rolled it from one side to another. I walked with it slowly towards a bench that faced the beach and sat down. The marvel of it captivated me and made me completely forget myself.

Then a cloud floated from nowhere and moved in front of the evening sun and blocked its golden rays. The tiny crystal on my hand lost its shine, too. That was the end of my admiration that laid on my hand. A few minutes later, the sun started descending fast on the horizon.

A thought passed my head. Why did I pick up a handful of sands? It took me a full minute to understand my impulsive action.

We go on with our business and never bother to understand the tiny particles around us that are an integral part of our lives. Sands probably are the only part on earth that will live survive the eternity.

We walk on it while we live and end up buried or strewn in it when we are dead. So to show my last respect, I gentle laid the crystal down on the beach sands and bid it goodbye. It was time to go back home because the sun was already half buried under the horizon.

While walking back to my car, I was conscious of where and how I placed my feet. I literally looked at my steps all the way to my car. There were sands everywhere. Every size and colour.  I reached home in time just before the Iftaar.

In the rituals of breaking the fast, I forgot about the sands for a while and concentrated with other priorities. Until after eight in the evening when I decided to go out shopping.

As I was parking my car in the open courtyard, a truck was unloading sands just about twenty meters away from the car park. I got out of the car and looked at it.

Just less than a minute later, it finally dawned on me that I was getting obsessed with the sands. I smiled at myself and thought that I should find something better to do than marvel the splendid existence of the sands.