I woke up and dragged the sand out of my eyes. My tongue was bloated with dehydration. I tried to wet it, but the effort only crunched desert silt between my teeth. The sensation sent shivers down my spine.
I tried to stand but couldn’t seem to get off my knees. The dryness had sunk into my skin and settled between my bones.
“How long have I been out here?” I whispered to the wind.
“Funny how when time has no meaning, it means more than ever”, the wind whispered back.
She placed a cool palm on my cheek and with a gentle push, guided my attention to a flowing spring in the distance.
“Oasis”, I choked through my hourglass throat.
“Oasis”, she agreed, “or mirage”.
I thought I heard her laugh as she flew away. A fickle friend, the wind.
Alone, I squinted at my supposed oasis.
I released the tension around my eyes and dropped my focus to the sand I sat upon.
The relief in the distance could be salvation or illusion.
But the sand at my feet was real.
And the fingers crackling on my hearth lap might be brittle, but they were real too.
So I began to build sandcastles.
I dug and piled and shaped.
I measured and messed and tried again.
Yet help did not come.
So after three days, I laid in my fortress of grit and mettle and allowed the desert to take me.
And with a hoarse hallelujah, I shouted my last defiance of the desert and praise of the God who made it: “If I’m going to go out, I’m going to go out building Kingdoms.”