I felt myself drift off into another world and Reda the carpenter began. ‘Once there was a stream,’ he said, ‘a lovely cool, clear stream. It was created from melted snow in the high mountains and it flowed down through all kinds of rock, until one bright morning it reached the desert. ‘The stream was worried, but it knew that its destiny was to cross the sand. So it called out, “What am I to do?” And the desert answered, “Listen, O stream! The wind crosses my sands, and you can, too.”
The stream didn’t listen. He let his water roll forward. The first drops disappeared without trace. ‘”Desert! Desert!” he called. “You are sucking me up!” The desert was old and wise and grew angry at the foolish young stream. “Of course I am sucking you up,” replied the desert, “because that is what deserts do. I can’t change. Please listen to me and allow yourself to be absorbed into the wind.”
The stream was far too hot headed to listen. He had his pride and was happy being who he was. “I am a stream,” he shouted, “and I want to stay a stream!” The sand, growing in impatience, replied again: “O foolish stream! You must throw yourself into the wind and you will fall as rain. Your droplets will cross mountains and oceans and you will be far greater than you are now.
Please listen to my words!” ‘The stream did not believe the sand and cried, “Desert, desert, how can I be sure you speak the truth?” The desert rose up in a sandstorm and called, “Trust me, O young stream, and think back: surely you can recall being in another form.” The stream thought hard, its waters swirling as its memory worked.
Then, gradually, it did remember … it remembered a time when it was something else. ‘”Let yourself rise up!” cried the desert, “Up and up into the wind!” The stream did as the sands ordered and let himself rise in a curtain of mist, until he was absorbed in the wind. It felt wonderful, and right, as if it was meant to be.’
Monsieur Reda thumped his chest and coughed ‘And that is how the stream which is life continues,’ he said, ‘and why the tale of its great journey is written in the sands.’