Into The Desert I Go. I Found my True Hippy Nature But Lost My Bowels.
Back in the nineties and in my early twenties I travelled, mostly by road, through Greece and had gone across to Israel on a ferry. On the ferry I had met a bunch of colourful folk who were setting up a Rainbow Gathering in the Negev Desert. My plan had been to work in a Kibbutz but this was one adventure that I was up for.
I had felt a little ‘lost’ up until that point. Aimless and quite literally wandering. Those big questions that come to us all in our early twenties; who am I? Why am I here? What should I do with my life? Had made me pack up my belongings, pick up my bag and buy a one way ticket to Greece with the intention to keep on moving.
I travelled to the middle of the Negev Desert in a yellow school bus. The bus was decked out inside with a beautiful wooden hand crafted bed, carved shelving and cupboards. There was an array of books, a guitar and brightly coloured throws. The woman had a rainbow tattoo on her upper arm. If I was looking for signs to show me the way to go her tattoo was the sign. I was destined to go to the desert to find answers.
The desert stretched for miles. Rock faces and valleys showed where there were once river beds. The silence at night was deafening. That sounds like a cliché but it was the first and only time that I had experienced such absolute silence and stillness.
Shooting stars could be seen constantly falling through the sky. On arrival a conch was blown by an old man with grey dreadlocks. This was our signal to gather around the fire. Standing in a circle we held hands. I had no expectations. I had no idea what it was all about.
I looked around me at the tie dyed and dreadlocked characters. There was Peter who had been an addict and was here to meditate and cleanse his body of all toxins for good. Janeth from Brazil looked like a goddess. She had beautiful brown skin and large brown eyes but she was filled with self hatred. Uma from America floated around naked with a smile on her face as if she knew the secret to life.
Molly was grounded with her Yorkshire accent and frizzy curls and, as I was from the UK, she was comforting to be around. Iain was Scottish and he ate only with his…