I wrote this Tuesday night after I got in to Amman, but still wanted to share it now I’ve found the right nexus of internet/downtime/a husband patient enough to let me use our call to blog:
Some cool things that have happened so far on my trip to Jordan, in no particular order:
- I learned that people here say “eHwa” and “ismaa” often, but I haven’t figured out what that means yet,
- There as a huge tarantula carapace in a display box in the trashcan next to the security check between getting off in Istanbul and waiting to get on to the plane to Amman,
- Other than the lovely scrub brush, the most beautiful things on the highway from the airport to the hotel at 1am are the roadside cuts into the hills which reveal millennia of sedimentary rock and the geological history it tells.
On that last note, I am distressed to find no one has written a geological tour guide to the Middle East. In a region defined by the rest of the world by its geology–or at least the petrol and LNG it yields–I would have thought some enterprising soul would have sat down and written a brief history of the dirt under the history.
I mean, this is the land of Petra and the Dead Sea. What better ode to the beauty of geology can a society carved out of meat-colored rock and a place famed for being the lowest place on earth because it’s a part of the Rift River Valley? Nowhere, that’s where.
Ten minutes after walking into our hotel room, Mom and I were cooing at the lovely rocks she’d picked up: nascent crystal formations, something that looks like a brick of agate, sedimentary rock with a layer of conglomerate—it’s not that you can’t get pretty rocks in other places, but in this place so much of the history is tied to the land.
It was the source of the stones of the houses and temples and monuments which are the backdrop of the country’s people’s history; it protected biblical figures as they fled other biblical figures; it feeds the crops and cradles the river which ensure the people survive.
Surely the land is worth at least one book of its own.
“I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,”