From my diary and a section of the book “Live to Love the Road” in progress:

Magical four days in the desert. In a place, we named Tanmirt. Tanmirt means thank you in Amazigh and also our ground. Your ground, my ground and as so wisely pointed out to me by my mother in law on my birthday, the land we have to lend from our coming generations. I have walked on the paths of all our history, all of who we are, and all of who I am. These last four days, I truly found my soil and my soul.

As you can sense the rain that will fall, I knew rain and a flood was coming a year ago when I left the desert for the first time right before New Year of 2016. In March of 2016, I felt the first raindrops that foretold the coming rain when I visited with my son Lucas then 11 years old… my heart longed for more rain, to feel the raindrops on my cheeks.

I could taste the rain sleeping under the stars with my friend and business partner Hanna in October 2016. In November, as I shared my Tanmirt story with my Wisehub family in South Africa, the raindrops starting falling inside of me. The rain came as tears from my eyes and wet my cheeks for the world to see. I tried to hold them back and the rain became a thunder within. You cannot build a dam for the rainfall or for the flood it creates!

In December, we finally arrived back in Zagora the whole family. We hiked during 8 magical days in the Sahara desert and our youngest daughter said, “the desert is like my second home”. I could then feel the desperate damn, I build within, breaking. My family left and the time came for my birthday. All day planning the day before and traveling to Tanmirt on January 12, 2017, I could feel the rain falling. It is raining, I thought. My heart was dancing, a crazy rain dance. As the days passed in Tanmirt with the family of Ba Salah and Nomads in our Vilostrada Foundation project, the rain kept falling.

My daughter Maj meets the desert for the first time in December 2016.

On Jan 13, we went for a walk to the mountains. We followed the path of every Amazigh Nomad who ever lived here in the thousands year since they first came.

They love the mountains as much as I do, I thought. We followed a trail I had walked many times before. On the top of a hill, we paused, and there was a magical oasis. My heart knew, we had come to the end of a chapter, the beginning of a flood. The damn broke and all the water from the rain carried me with it along a hidden stream track, through broken mountains that had been smoothed by water and carried memories of life from times passed. The water carried strength and the end of a search. The rained and the flood cleared the sky.

As the full moon, traveled up by the horizon that night, I realized this is where the story of my Nomad cross, the Southern Cross I carry around my neck, begins.

More stories to follow…