While I was in the desert I found many strange rituals and music. Initially I saw the people quietly meditating or humming to themselves or swaying to the beat of the rhythms being played.
Meanwhile around the main edifice, the figure of a man quietly waited.
Later I saw others dancing and celebrating with fire and light. I wondered if they were trying to chase away the darkness with the fire and the music.
As the dancers became more frenetic, suddenly the man raised his arms. Whether in tribute to their efforts or of some foreboding I could not say but I suddenly became tense as everyone took a deep breath.
An explosion of fireworks around the figure caused the crowd, now many rows deep, to call out and scream excitedly.
A larger explosion caused everyone to lean back. Something flew from the explosion and hit my knee startling me.
The flames rose higher and higher engulfing the figure. The cries of the crowd increased as the flames greedily reached upward.
A cacophony of sound filled the air – the music, the shouts and the roar of the flames as the figure collapsed into the base.
And out of the flames arose a fiery spectacle. Glowing dust devils spawned one after another from the flames and headed outwards drilling a dusty channel in the ground as they went one after another…
Finally little was left but the frame that had supported the figure.
Everyone stayed until the last of the frame collapsed and then got up and slowly started drifting away, calling out to one another about what they had seen, music still playing, surrounded by twinkling, sparkling, glowing, flashing lights from the vehicles that had congregated around the outer edge of the crowd…
To be continued…