The Tears of the Desert – Paulo Coelho

0911 desert

A beautiful piece from ‘Like a Flowing River’ by Paulo Coelho:

A friend of mind returns from Morocco with a beautiful story about a missionary who, as soon as he arrived in Marrakesh, decided that he would go for a walk every morning in the desert that lay just outside the city. The first time he did this, he noticed a man lying down, with his ear pressed to the ground and stoking the sand with one hand.

‘He’s obviously mad,’ the missionary said to himself. But the scene was repeated every day, and after a month, intrigued by this strange behavior, he decided to speak to the stranger. With great difficulty, since he was not yet fluent in Arabic, he knelt down by his side.

‘What are you doing?’

‘I am keeping the desert company and offering it consolation for its loneliness and its tears.’

‘I didn’t know the desert was capable of tears.’

‘It weeps every day because it dreams of being useful to people, and of being transformed into a vast garden where they could grow cereal crops and flowers and graze sheep.’ Continue reading