Oukaimeden Resort, a Paradise in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco
When I stepped out of the car I felt elated seeing the impressive peaks, and longed to scale one. I was like a dog tugging at its owner’s leash, desperate for the freedom to explore the scents of the wild. I climbed and climbed and climbed and suddenly came to a ridge which commanded a spectacular view of the Atlas range. I was overwhelmed. “It’s so beautiful. It’s so beautiful. It’s so beautiful,” I muttered to myself repeatedly as if the aesthetic rush caused a temporary insanity. I had been dislodged from my normal level of consciousness and entered another realm. In fact, during the entire ascent, I felt as if my being was sparkling with ecstasy, and had been injected with five years worth of elation within a few minutes. I must be a mountain person.
I tried my best to reach the summit, despite the race against time and the increasing protests of my leg muscles. Once I reached the snow line I realized the remaining 200 meters would elude me; I could not risk returning in the failing light. But I did find a crack between rocks and squeezed my body into its limited space. I gazed lovingly at the awesome panorama, as if I was the eyes of the mountain looking at itself. A thought flashed through my mind that this would be an opportune time to die, here in a coffin of rock, with the beauty of the peaks as the closing eulogy.
It was just a passing thought! Much life still has to be lived, so I rushed down the mountain. My body was craving sustenance, and agreed with me that the hot drink at the bottom was one of the best I had ever had in my life. And I made a pledge to spend more time in the mountains. We were made for each other.