Last night I joined about 12 other people in a gathering to celebrate a dear friend’s 33rd birthday at her family home on the Palm Jumeirah. The mere location would automatically indicate an evening of luxury and excess but it was in fact one of the most simple and lovely evenings I have enjoyed for a long time and it made me literally take a deep breath and disconnect from the craziness of life here in Dubai.
Yesterday was Earth day and as my friend S was also celebrating her birthday,she had organised a simple yet meaningful ceremony on the private beach on front of her parents’ villa. (For those who don’t know, the Palm is a man made, luxury property development off the coast of Dubai and made up of a trunk and fronds leading off the trunk . Huge villas are built on these fronds and at the end of each frond, there is a curved piece of land with a 180 degree private beach. It was one such villa which we were all fortunate to visit.)
After a wonderful prayer and mediation , we were all invited to take a flower from a bucket and throw it onto the water with a prayer for Mother Earth. The wind was cool and as we stood on the quiet , dark beach in a circle offering up simple prayers and meditations, I felt so completely at peace it was incredible.
The lights of the Dubai coastline were glittering and sparkling in the distance like a gaudy necklace, but on that beach with our feet buried in the cool, damp sand I felt like I was on another planet, not just another suburb. It made me truly wish that I also could escape to my own private piece of sand! Unfortunately that will have to wait for another lifetime when I have made my millions, but for one night, it was wonderful!
The other people at the party included a raw food advocate (a 52 year old woman who looks about 32-raw food is the way to go people!), a Reiki master, two Yoga teachers , an art gallery owner ,two people making a documentary, a lovely girl who is making a sci-film and an eco consultant. It was a varied and interesting group to say the least and I had a great time with such creative and spiritual people. I really wish that there were more occasions like this…I find the majority of people here are all about the superficial-what car you drive, where you live, how much you are paid , which clubs and restaurants you frequent…..its tiring and boring for me and I feel that I need to actively seek out more “real ” people who have a much more positive impact on my life and on my soul. While Dubai has given me an incredible experience over the past 14 + years, there are times when I find the energy in the city feels like it is sucking the very life out of me.
Is it just Dubai, or are other big, developing cities the same? I wonder if along with the extraordinary growth we experience here, there is a darker force which can affect one in a very subtle but negative way….it is certainly a thought provoking theory and one which will be on my mind for a while! Driving off the frond and down the trunk back to the mainland, I was so grateful for the brief respite from business and a little peek into the piece of paradise where S’s family lives.