The flight home was about the only uneventful part of the journey. Two days ago, facing the Giza Pyramids, I couldn’t bring myself to understand, to appreciate, what it means for this journey to have come to an end. Back in South Africa – exhausted – I couldn’t help myself skimming some of the photographs, some of the writing lying in my unpacked bag. Slowly, I am starting to feel the ending.
It was Friday morning when I was in the desert. It was cold. The dust kicked up overnight covering Cairo and much of the pyramids in what looked like a dirty fog. I was on a horse – called Black Tiger. Seriously. Plodding over the sand, the morning sun started to burn through the dust as it rose, until the pyramids came into view. They looked something like this.
Two days later, and I am home. Back in the shell of the house I left almost two months ago to start what feels like the longest dream of my life. I’m too tired to feel the disconnection yet. Awake enough to fear going to sleep. To fear the end of the last day of traveling. The best answer that my tired brain can produce to the question of “how was it?” is to try and imagine living what feels like a decade worth of places, discoveries and learning. Then returning and discovering you have only been gone a tiny fraction of that time. It’s like that. Narnia – only real.
It’s like that. Narnia – only real.
I am quite sure that nostalgic pining will come soon. Like a demon in the photographs, the little postcard, the journals. Lurking in every rich piece of evidence that it actually happened. Tonight it waits in the wings, knowing it will have its chance in time. That there will be a wistful smile waiting for it soon – one which will last as long as my memory does.
But tonight is a bittersweet quiet – the kind you get when you remember lost love. Smiling at what it was. And smiling in the memory that you were a part of it. Reflection can come later. The bittersweet quiet comes first.