A prose poem inspired by the Saharan dust storm that recently visited us in North Carolina.
An Evening Run in the Sahara Sunset
I am running this evening, thinking about how hot and humid it is, and what we're having for dinner, and what we might watch on tv later this evening. I am not thinking about the Sahara Desert - why on earth would I? - or the changing climate in our world, or new illnesses beginning far away, or the racial injustice facing so many around me. I am running and not thinking about these things for a simple reason: I do not have to. I do not have to think about what it is like to be anyone other than who I am, or to live anywhere else than where I do, or to wonder whether it is even safe for me to run. But the world is now asking me to pay attention. As I run this evening, I notice the hazy Carolina sky filled with dust blowing in from the Sahara Desert. I see the dusty sky and think of Moses in the desert - noticing that burning bush and turning aside to look at it and then hearing God calling to him. I look up and see my own burning bush ablaze in the sky, calling me to thoughts beyond myself, inviting me to turn aside and see our suffering, changing world. Pay attention, I hear. Which is the beginning of devotion, I remember Mary Oliver writing. My thoughts as I run now becoming a prelude to prayer. Scattered thoughts leading to unspoken prayers for a world forever joined and connected in ways I do not often think of, or even imagine, as I enjoy this evening run in the unexpected Sahara sunset.