It all began with rumors of an island, a tropical Eden of palm-fringed beaches and stunning turquoise waters, of budding woodlands and old growth forests and of blue gems found deep in a cave. Long people had lived on the island in harmony with nature but slowly they came to worship the gems, believing them to be the source of their blessed lives. There was indeed a power at play to which no one was immune though its effects were manifold. Of their decline little is known except that, forsaking the land that had sustained them, it is said they became blind and deaf to its beauty until they were no more. A tale now long-forgotten by most save a few who have attempted to find the island, recover its lost beauty and uncover its mystery.
Washed up on the sandy shores of an unknown land. This is where your journey begins. The sun is high in the sky; the sand is warm under your feet. All of it so bright. Already the memory of how you got here is silenced by the wonder of what lies ahead, beyond those dunes. So, with the ocean’s salty breeze against your back and the sound of crashing waves reminding you there is no turning back, you begin your ascent. Sinking deep into the golden sand, climbing step by step, the land reveals itself as you look up and with it the promise of shade and shelter. Already you can breathe easier, there is life ahead, trees and birds you can’t yet hear. This is the hidden island called Hajmiin, a land of mysteries, a natural spectacle of sounds, scents and sights, of myths and moods and music. What will you find along the way?
Stumbling across the vast expanse of sand, you begin to find your footing as the ground gradually stiffens underneath your bare feet. You find yourself in the middle of an oasis of coconut palm trees, the leaves of which swaying in the breeze above cast ever-moving shadows over the ground. All is quiet, the distant waves but a murmur behind you as you come out from beneath the canopy to behold a pristine white sand beach. A semi-circular recess in the coast, a cove almost entirely secluded from the open waters except for two narrow gaps on each side of a large rock barring the entrance to the secret bay. Peering in, you can see fish swimming swiftly like flashes of silver in the shallow crystal clear waters. In this moment, your delight is complete. It feels almost too good to be true, a bliss only shrouded by the dimming light of day and the feeling of somehow trespassing on a private paradise… Already you can see the land rising and the path ahead, but as dusk draws near you will linger here in this place for a little while longer and spend the night. Collecting driftwood along the still-unexplored edges of the bay, as the tide rolls in, you set out for the eastern end of the beach where, against a tall rock wall, sheltered from the wind, you set camp and start a fire.
released March 31, 2023
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