Saturday, 21 January 2012

Desert Epiphany

Red Riding Hood: Salt Water 
“The cure for anything is salt water….sweat, tears or the sea.”
~ Isak Dinesen, pseudonym of Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke
For your Creative Non-Fiction tell us about the last time that one of these three things “cured” you. If you are going with Fiction, have your character resolve a problem using one of the three (or all three!!!). There are so many ways you can use this prompt so be creative with it, don’t take us where we think you’ll go.

The word count was 300 -- which I exceeded.  Please follow the link and see how other writers handled the prompt.


I first saw the Sinai on an hiking safari in August 1985. For five mornings the other tourists and I scrambled through the basalt mountains, then rested during the afternoons on the coast where the azure water laps the barren shores.

I only paddled my toes in the shallows, afraid to snorkel like the others. Until one of the guides, a mountain of a man with wild hair and beard caught my hand ignoring my protests. “I can't let you leave without seeing this,” he said, fitting a mask to my face and handing me a some fins. Two metres from the shore, the coral dropped off sheer. “You can swim, can’t you?” he asked, pulling me over the edge.

My breathing rate skyrocketed as I took in the colourful fish that circled the corals, the brilliant sapphire blue of the water,  the blackness below the drop. Ami pointed to a moray in its hole, mouth open, beady eyes alert; to brilliant blue Friedman fish and striped sergeant majors; then he gestured for silence so that I could hear the blue-green parrot fish munching on hard coral. Schools of goldfish flickered in the sunshine of the shallows.

In that half-hour, life changed: I decided to move to the Sinai and to learn to dive.

It was my home for several years and I loved it: the black mountains and the red ones, and how the light changed their colours throughout the day; the way a spring could nourish an orchard of dates and roses; the dignity and friendliness of the Bedouins and the fluid expressiveness of their hands; lying in my sleeping bag at night and looking up into a river of stars.

I learned to dive: it became my job and my life;  and I never forgot my first glimpse of the magic world below the water's glittering surface.

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