I’ve always been told that amongst all the qualities an evolved human can possess, patience is supreme. After all, it’s been around in human consciousness for a while as the saying goes, “Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can seldom in a woman, never in a man,” although I’m not sure if I agree with the latter. See, my man happens to have a peculiar streak of patience. He can sit back and relax while others argue, not feeling the need to convince or control. And although he cares, he can just chill while everyone worries about the next snowstorm, economic downturn or even the end of the world for that matter! And I wonder if it is this streak that has got him on the road to soap making.
You see, after soap is made, it needs to sit. Just chill. Not hibernate for months like a bear, thank goodness. But it’s got to cure for a month at least (unless it’s a pure Olive Oil soap, which takes much longer.) Making soap takes patience, which I’m learning as part of the soapmaking house. I refrain from using it as soon as it’s made no matter how tempting. I watch it like a child gazing into a confectioner’s shop, wondering about those chocolate covered delights that he can’t have until he’s big enough to learn self-restraint.
A while ago I had visited my friend in California. A few months before my visit, she was in Morocco. Beautiful Morocco. A place I’ve daydreamed about many times. She brought back with finely cut metal lamps, also known as Moroccan lamps. They had red and green color shades, which gave her gazebo an enchanting touch. We ate lamb kabobs, chicken with herbs and flatbread as she reminisced about Morocco.
I had so many questions. What was it like? What did she feel as she stepped out of the plane and so on. But something struck me out of all the delights she told me of.
“I felt power in that land.”
What kind of power I asked her, imploring her to tell me more until it became as clear as a picture perfect summer day.
“I don’t know,” she said. “But when I stepped out of the plane and drove a few miles, I had an urge to feel the land. I stepped on the earth barefoot and felt a surge of energy fill my being.”
She felt power in the earth. The soft clay that she walked on absorbed her negativity and refreshed her. That’s what she meant by power of the earth.
I sat staring at her bewildered.
And then she handed me a packet, “I found some Moroccan clay for you from the Atlas mountains.”
Now I may not know much about the biggest mountain range of Morocco, but I remember a Geography teacher once telling me about the special soil formed there from volcanic deposit. On further research I found that Moroccan Clay’s high mineral content has a detoxifying effect on skin and has been in use for thousands of years!
Oh and Morrocan clay is also known as “Rhassoul clay,” which in Arabic means “the matter that washes.” It couldn’t get better.
I think I can guess my soap maker’s next magical ingredient.
And as for me, I still long to visit Morocco, but with Moroccan clay on hand, at least I can immerse myself in that delightful feeling my friend felt when she touched Morrocan soil.