The Breeze at Dawn Has Secrets to Tell You

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Early in the morning in Leamtong Bay in north Koh Phi Phi, I said goodbye to friends who were leaving at the 7 AM ferryboat transfer to Phuket.IMG_5448

Left to my own devices on the day that I was to meet up with a friend who was unable to make the trip due to expiring passports, I found myself looking up and around, mesmerized by the rising sun at six, peeking through the fronds of coconut trees.

Inspired by the suggestions of a friend from the day before, I went on a walk along the waters, looking for shells and armed with a bottle of water.

Two young boys collected shells in a white plastic bag on one end, but once I had rounded the corner, because of the low tide, I could cross over into an entirely private second beach, where only craggy black rocks strewn with white stripes greeted me. 

The encounter with the smooth spirals of shells, and the swing on which I sat on the second beach for over half an hour, reminded me of the joyful and whimsical adoration of nature in Jelaluddin Rumi’s poem, “Quatrains,”  found in “Unseen Rain,” translated by Coleman Barks.

The Sufi poet wrote in extended metaphors about the ecstasy felt by being outdoors, and I find this poem to be the perfect way of describing the need to channel the divine inside ourselves by finding wonder in the external world.

In Rumi’s own words:

For years, copying other people, I tried to know myself.
From within, I couldn’t decide what to do.
Unable to see, I heard my name being called.
Then I walked outside.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

Sunrise over Leamtong Bay, Koh Phi Phi

Sunrise over Leamtong Bay, Koh Phi Phi


3 thoughts on “The Breeze at Dawn Has Secrets to Tell You

  1. What a great post. Love the photos – (the swing and sand/shells detail are my favorites), the little whirling dervish guy 🙂 and of course the poem.

  2. I’m so envious of your opportunities to travel Raad. This is a wonderful part of the world and I wish I was there instead of here in the UK on a dreary wet day as I write! Great words from this sufi poet too. They conjure up the mood perfectly.

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