The serpentine road of the Qadisha valley receded into the shadows of the mountains, confidently coiling around the slopes with the contentment of having fulfilled a holy mission – a well-deserved sentiment, since our journey’s end, the reserve of Lebanon’s Cedars of God, finally lay in front of our eyes. Filmy stripes of snow covered some of the ochre-tinted peaks at the horizon, reminiscent of the winter days that had only recently been swept away by April’s joyful hand. Ahead, the forest extended in scaling foliage plateaus, emitting woody fragrances and an enchanted ambiance of comfort and belonging.
We rambled through the paths, and the ancient trees yawned and stretched at our passage, as if coming out of a lethargic afternoon nap, gently massaging their fluids back into vividness. Hollow eyes, carved by age on 5000-year-old woods, followed us drowsily with the intimacy of an old friend, bearing a wisdom so primeval that my consciousness could not grasp. Fairies dashed among the branches, and naked female bodies, intertwined like the figures of Nature and Divinity in Khalil Gibran’s unsung paintings, emerged from the wrinkles of the barks. There was an absence of noise but not silence, for the whispering of eternal storytelling was audible, and the lapping of time on the shores of the present reverberated like a heartbeat. [Read more…]