Barren Land

journal Mar 27, 2024

Some say it’s barren, dull. It lacks beauty. But it is not always just about what we see, but about what we allow ourselves to feel. 

I spent a week on Lanzarote, in a small village on the beach that has not yet been overrun by tourism. I was here the year before on a very short trip. On one side of the village, there is a cliff that you can hike which promises a great view of the surroundings. On the other side, there is an unseemingly little hill. I felt drawn to that little hill for a reason I couldn’t explain, but on my first trip, it had to, of course, be the big hike up the cliff. It was a beautiful hike, but the little hill had a pull. I didn’t make it there last year, so this time it was a must. 

I was sitting at the top of the hill, finally having made it there. I looked out over the barren landscape, the plains of sand with no vegetation in sight, merging with the Atlantic ocean waves. I attempted a brief meditation with closed eyes but had to open them to soak in the beauty. A bird flying below. Two people on horseback in the distance. This wondrous nature sprawled out in front of me. How great it is that meditation can happen with eyes wide open. With no other people around, a sense of peace easily washed over me. 

But the walk was not yet over. The hill surrounds a volcanic crater. So I continued along the ridge until I reached the spot that led down into the center. Here the silence is engulfing. The crashing of the waves has been left behind, the wind is blocked out. There’s a cave, red rocks, yellow rocks, and an ocean of white shells. A track runs the perimeter of the crater as if it had been a place for sporting events. The energy of the long-gone volcano is still palpable. 

Checking on Google Maps, someone actually named it a place of power for the energy of the heart, which I found quite fitting. In German, there is a word for these kinds of places: Kraftort. In the English language, they don’t have a name, merely a description. Place of strength or place of power, which gives it a different feeling. 

I highly encourage you to visit and research places that you are drawn to. You never know what you will discover. It isn’t always about what we see, but about what we feel. Spend time connecting with the land and with yourself. Truly experience what exists there now and what has been translated over the years.


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