Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Marrakech (Part 2): The Call to Prayer
Although dawn was not far off, the darkness was almost complete in this medieval city. The stars littered the sky outside my rooftop bedroom, calling to me. A slice of moon hung over the horizon so clear I thought I might touch it.
I wrapped myself in the thick blanket from my bed and climbed the stairs to the roof.
In my early rising, I disturbed Ishmael, the sweet tempered servant of my Riad. Unknown to me, he had been guarding my room by sleeping on the roof wearing only his coat for warmth. We startled one another.
Safely ensconced in a chair and wrapped in my quilt against the early morning chill, I watched the crystal clear stars glitter above me.
As the sun started to warm the colors of the night sky over the distant Atlas Mountains, the call to prayer began. Far away, the voice called in Arabic the ancient words, calling us, calling us, to follow the one true path. Soon there were more voices calling. For a full half an hour, the calls continued both near and far, swirling around me, filling the void of the night, reminding me to follow to the one true path.
As the calls to prayer ended another sound rose up from the streets, a humming, almost the sound of a bee hive, of ten thousand voices at prayer. In this place, the faithful begin each day reciting their sacred words, facing their holy city, each attempting to follow his one true path.
I wrapped the quilt closer around me, grateful for its warmth. The glow to the Eastern sky brought the colors of pink, purple and gold, driving back the night, extinguishing the stars one by one.
Ishmael brought me coffee.
I savored every precious drop.