You are in search of the light. The light of your heart.
These words touched my inner self and stirred within me overwhelming
emotions. I tried to distract my thoughts by engaging in my colleagues'
chat about the beauty of the road... the sand, the rock hills, and the
lush that's garlanded with orange and yellow.
Once we arrived at
our destination, a confused smile drew on my face when I read the sign
of the plant, "Noor – Arabic for light".
The ones in charge of the
solar project welcomed us and shared with us abundant information about
the way it functioned. They briefed us on the plant's various stages
and on the technology used to convert sunlight into energy to compensate
for the lack of oil and gas in Morocco. They also explained to us how
"Noor" contributes to protecting Earth by mitigating the growing risks
of climate change.
A number of European Union officials joined the
visiting delegation; the EU provided the plant with funds and support
through the European Investment Bank and other European institutions.
project's prime goal is providing locals with an array of services and
multiplying job opportunities, especially as the implementation process
moves forward. That's very important, but it isn't everything.
solar plant Noor derives energy from the sun's radiation by means of
harnessing, preserving, and converting sun rays to generate power. Thus,
the sun's daily output could be used round the clock to help workers
keep their machines running, to aid students en route to success, to
keep the elderly in touch with the world, and to assist mothers with the
burden of daily house chores. The project utilizes the sun's energy and
gives it back to the region's locals in the form of light ‘Noor’ – it
is a source of non-stop dynamic energy.
Alas, the light which the project will provide is not the same light that my heart seeks!
enjoying the extensive details that enriched our plant tour, the words
of the old sage kept echoing in my head and bogged me down in a deeper
state of bewilderment, especially as the work day neared its end.
at the hotel, I tried to get some sleep after a long exhausting day of
which most hours had been spent on the road. I couldn't sleep for I was
overcome with stress and anxiety, so I stood at the window and watched
the sunset; the old sage was still sitting in the same spot. I couldn't
enjoy the sun's intertwining rays that rhythmically bid the blue sky
farewell because the presence of the old man utterly confounded me. I
observed him as he sat with the same serenity and tranquility since
I instantly headed his way. The closer I got, the
further he seemed. The distance was growing longer as I approached him. I
felt heavy weight burdening my entirety, and all I wished was to get to
get rid of this feeling by throwing it his way; maybe he could help
ease my apprehension.
Once I reached him, I asked him eagerly:
- "How do I find the light?"
all he did was respond with a smile and utter stillness; however, I
kept repeating my question with consistent urgency, but to no avail. He
maintained the same smile and stillness.
I sat by his side all
lost and weary. I tracked the moon as its creatures made an appearance
with what seemed to be gentle smiles. The light of the moon cast its
rays on the sand hills, killing their darkness and livening their light.
in disappointment, I finally left the old sage. I felt my steps growing
heavier and heavier when I spotted a lantern flashing light in my
direction. It belonged to a small house in which a crowd of people sat
and chattered. The roof was sealed with many wooden logs, and outside
there was a big stone bench fully covered with cushions and surrounded
by wooden chairs. Palm trees scattered all around the house.
body went feeble as I gradually started losing energy. The closer I
approached the small house, the more it faded before my eyes... I saw
the years of my life rushing ahead of me in a glimpse. I couldn't see
clearly. All I heard were whispers that I failed to decipher. There I
was faltering... I fell to the ground.
I felt them carrying me and
seating me on one of the wooden chairs. Their voices went on top of
each other as they asked me with empathy:
- "What's wrong with you?"
I told them that I felt shortness of breath, and that I wasn't capable of moving. So one of them instantly said:
- "Stay with us and get some rest."
Then another one asked me with a scolding tone:
- "Why are you dressed in such light clothes? It's cold."
And another said:
- "I'll bring you a cup of tea. We will not disturb you with our conversations. Just sit and relax."
sat by their side with my limbs all frozen. They handed me a cup of hot
tea, and then warmth started flowing into my body. I noticed that they
were speaking about me:
- "He's a city dweller; they all live this
way. They waste their lives in pursuit of money and power, forgetting
all about the real essence of life."
His friend responded in support:
"Yes. His condition is not but a warning that he's missing out on his
life that has gone by. It's as if life is reminding him that he is no
longer young enough to wear such light clothes."
- "True. Thank God for the all the blessings of good health. May God heal him and guide him the right way."
Then a third one said:
"The life of urban dwellers is so strange! Believe me... they live like
machines and don't realize the gravity of what they've done to
themselves until diseases start invading their bodies. Over time, they
become similar to rusty machines without even feeling it."
- "Thank God for everything!"
dialogues varied as each one of them shared with the others how his/her
day had been spent. I watched their content faces and joyful smiles.
Their positive energy and exuberance were so contagious that I gradually
began to regain my power. I was no longer feeling cold.
As I was
leaving, I thanked them for their help and generosity. They insisted
that I stayed and joined them for supper, but I was adamant to leave.
One of them abruptly asked me about the reason I had spent hours near
the statue. I smiled and responded with silence.
I crossed the
road back to the hotel when I found myself standing near the man of the
desert. I felt as if he was addressing me. He said:
- "Are you
aware of the fact that the sun endures in one day what you endure in
years? It is a fetus when it rises at dawn, and then it crawls like an
infant towards the sand. It reaches the peak of its youth at midday, and
then it starts losing its power as the day hours go by -- exactly the
way people age."
- "I'm the man of the desert. I
have learned to see in the dark with the light that comes from within. I
can see you clearly; you are a good person, but you have been
transformed into a machine. My son, the heart is the source of light.
You have closed the door to your heart. You have hidden the light
inside, but I can see it. Open your heart to people and share with them
your light -- let it enlighten your way and theirs."
He added with a somewhat warning tone:
"If you close your heart, you will only be able to listen and see with
your mind, and this is not good. Never ignore your heart and feelings."
nodded my head as I listened to what he had to tell me and then headed
back to the hotel with lighter steps as my worries subsided... I finally
found the answer that I'd been looking for.