Crossing expanses upon expanses and following the rolling dunes that change form and reshape themselves in some sort of eternal dance of metamorphosis. Perhaps they are a great amorphous body rather than some giant landscape. Perhaps.
Crossing requires time and effort, but that time and effort can pay off in dividends so long as the path of the cardinal directions are followed more than the layout of the land. Following the land will only lead to entrapment rather than escape. Following the cardinal directions will lead to a long journey, but eventual release from the massive expanses upon expanses that engulf the region.
Granules of sand flow interminably slow, and yet rather quickly all at the same time. It is a still, dry ocean made of earth broken down and thus flows freely when it is not compact enough to remain a stable element. Of course, as it is trodden upon, whilst there is a slight sinking the compression creates a sort of solid path underneath and thus travel is possible. The sand is not so freely-floating that it will not support someone’s desire to move across it; just free enough to not remain beholden to the desires of the land to remain something with a resolute and highly stable form.
In a way it presents a sort of comfort for those who admire it, as well as a sense of peril for those who wish to cross it. It is as safe as it is dangerous. Whilst landmarks pockmark the extreme vastness, they can be difficult to find or even follow depending on how the desert interacts with winds on any given day. Landmarks are only useful sometimes. Shelter is scarce, but the desert is smaller than it implies. It is large, for sure, but it is only its constant shifting that makes it appear as large and overwhelming as it appears.
AS such, some who cross have huge dunes that they must move over directly, causing a great increase in time and a greater increase in danger. Some dunes become insurmountable and thus a longer route is required in order to get to any required destination.
Some who cross will have a far easier time. Their path is clear and straightforward. They have nothing to worry about as the terrain provided to them is relatively smooth and stable. It lacks the danger that some have to deal with.
However, most cross with a mix. There is some danger, some needing to cross over dunes in a direct way. Some parts of the journey allow for safe passage. However, for all of these, there still remains a great danger of becoming lost and disoriented. The expanses upon expanses can still lead to someone losing their way if they are not careful, for confidence can quite easily lead into hubris and as such many a journey remains incomplete as people head in the wrong direction and end up trapped and swallowed by the desert with little hope of getting out.
The time it took to write five-hundred words: 09:32:37
Not sure why but I include desert settings in my writing quite often.
Anyway, this started off as being something rather fantastic and then just kind of became something a bit more grounded.
Written at home.