I visited a friend this weekend who lives about a seven hour drive from Casablanca. A couple hours of the drive were along a narrow road high (and low) in the High Atlas mountains. My husband and I joked that it was like being in an old black and white cartoon where the car always has one tire hanging off the road and defies the laws of metal and rock while it whips around corners and sways unnaturally side to side. Our ears popped and unpopped several times as we climbed and lowered and climbed into these mountains. Standing in my friend’s home made of earth I remarked that “coming out” to see her was “like going out to the edge of the world.” As I lay in her guest room that night, it struck me that my center is off. I mean, this is The Center of the world to the people who have lived there for many generations and centuries.
What if this valley was recognized as The Center of the World? What if the rest of us bent over backwards to ensure that the water in this valley was kept clean? That the children who play along the road remain safe from the strangers who venture in to see The Center? What if we fought to keep toxic food and chemicals from entering The Center? And toxic images and ideas?
The people in this valley have recently acquired electricity and now have a regular bill to pay. A very few have internet access. I wondered what this is that is moving out to the valley. Or into The Center. Some would say modernity. But haven’t the people in The Center been modern along? Why is different often seen as bad or lesser and needing to change?
This Center is really, really beautiful, masha Allah. Thanks Itto.