Dear neighbour,


Between the fifth and sixth cataracts of the Nile lies Meroe. The ruins of an ancient civilization, Meroe was once the capital city of the Kingdom of Kush.

As I stand in the silence of the desert, under the scorching sun and on the sand that dances around with the wind, two clusters of pyramids watch over me: smaller in size than the ones in Giza, in Egypt, but greater in number. About a hundred in total. Some date back to the 8th century BC, built to house the remains of kings and warrior queens.

I try to hear the busy iron workers, the hustling of the trade route, the farmers on agricultural sites, and the vibrant city. But all is silent now. The desert and its army of triangular stone soldiers reminds me of your words, dear neighbour, of how brief a joke we seem to be when compared to the solidity, stature, strength and length of life of ruins like these.

A group of children and their teacher approach to study the site. My attention is caught by the sound of laughter and cheerful chatting. They are quick to see me and come to say hello. Life and noise is all around again. The monuments are forgotten. Curiosity, spontaneity and happiness rise from a mere encounter. Lightness.

And I feel that as brief as human life can be compared to these massive structures, it is still as great.



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