I was at Umm Salal recently, the farm of Mohamed bin Jassim; at dawn, looking down at the sand. It was bathed in dappled light, washing through the leaves of a tree, half shadows moving to and fro, on the dry ground.
I saw a seed pod, curled around upon itself, making the letter M in Arabic; one of the nicest I have found.
As I picked it up I felt something intangible inside – a texture sensed; overlaid with the tangible smoothness of its yellow surface.
It rattled. The seeds within were rattling, so slightly that I could feel but not hear them. The sound of the breeze in the leaves of the tree was masking the sound of the seeds.
I took the seedpod home and now it is in a box.
When it is very quiet, in the early mornings at the start of the day, I take it out of the box and shake it gently. If everything is silent, I can hear the rattling seeds.


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