Have you ever had that feeling that you're completely in this very moment, now, living, breathing, there with your whole being?
I'm sitting on the hump of the Arabian camel. I feel the warm wind flowing around me like a never-ending stream. It's 48 degrees. I feel the heat on my skin, behold the endless, weightless, sandy open, and sense that I have fully arrived at this very moment. I'm here. I'm now. I'm alive. It is an incredible feeling, an incredibly full feeling of freedom and self-love, and love for the world, and I realize that everything is possible. I see the retrospective of my whole sensitivity, the odyssey of my life, my depression, my suffering, and loving until I have finally been able to arrive in this perfect marvellous moment, and I feel free.
Simply free. Boundless and free.
The first time I had that feeling that I'm totally present at this very moment had been at the age of fifteen when I read The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder. A boy of fifteen years who travels the world with his father tells us the story of this feeling. He's lying in the loft bed. Above him, his father is snoring. It is night, and he cannot fall asleep because, in this very moment, he realizes that he's completely there, completely in this very moment, now, living, breathing, and marvelling at the miracle of his being.
It's an overwhelming feeling.
But at the age of fifteen, I hadn't been free. I knew that I existed, but I felt as if trapped in a cage with nowhere to hide. I was trapped in the cage of my own feelings. The cage of my depression.
It had been an odyssey of many years into adulthood through trials and tribulations and self-inflicted and outward disappointments until I finally had been able to say that I can embrace the moment and feel alive. That I can be free. That I can be taken up at this very moment. That I love this life, I'm allowed to live.
The moment I ultimately realized that I have made it through all of the trials and tribulations and obstacles of my life's journey to finally see my own true self was while riding on an Arabian camel in the Sahara desert. With the warm wind flowing around me. With myself within me.
And that's also why I will never forget this journey and this country. And that's also why my love for this country is as vast and infinite as the Sahara desert.
And that's why I will return there. Again and again and again. It is the place where I realized that I am free.
That I made it.
That everything, simply everything, is possible.
So many people live their lives without ever experiencing something significant. Every day of their lives is the same. And then, at the end of their life's journey, they wonder why they cannot answer the question of whether they have lived at all. Because they never felt present as a whole. But without being wholly present and without the feeling of being existent in the present, within one's own true self, and now, one cannot know oneself, and one cannot recognize the precious gift of life.
Because that's precisely what it is: