~ The flame at the top of the iceberg ~

The immense desire to touch the unknown has always led many adventurers and researchers. Exploratory passion completely preoccupied some people and makes them risk their own lives and go on the quest for mysteries in the most distant and most unexplored areas of the world. Although they often do not have a clear vision of that unknown, they go on the way convinced that they will find this something rare and unusual. They devote their entire life to the search for something miraculous, and they never find it miraculously and uniquely. Their desire for discovery is so great that it often leads them to the roads that exist only in legends. Who knows, maybe legends exist to make people believe in them. For many, this belief is the station where they are waiting for the last train to take them to a better future. Fleeing from the many troubles that persecute them on the path of life, they begin to believe in miracles and fantastic stories of unusual beings and phenomena. For some stories, it’s enough to survive quite a bit. Sometimes, just one man, imaginative and convincing, is enough to tell them, and they will never die. On the contrary, they will become even more interesting each time someone repeats them. Many of these sayings, we pick up on long journeys. One of them came to me while I was in Africa. The researchers wrote it in their diary a long time ago. Running from the desert storm, exhausted and frightened, they turned to a strange berg, which surprised them with its coldness. The landscape of an entire endless desert was mirrored in its mirrors of ice, which were so smooth and clear as if they never had a grain of sand on them. Thirsty and exhausted, they set off to its top in the hope of finding some drop of water. Instead of water, a flame appeared before them. Chained in the coldness and loneliness, it is burning at the top of the iceberg, defying the heights. Came from nothing and indestructible, it did not melt the ice, but with its beauty warmed up the hearts of the researchers, who watched the intact wonder of nature with admiration. Exhaustion disappeared from their bodies, and the smile returned to their faces. All their worries and illnesses burned in the heat of one miracle. Amazed, they went their way with a full heart. The diary pages that describe this event have disappeared, but there is a legend that always appears when someone is out of power or just wants to get warm. When everything else disappears, people realize that health and happiness are the greatest wealth that life can give them. Many remain deprived of these gifts. Desired strength and warmth in the heart, they are ready to go on a journey without return, so that they can touch the beauty of life for a moment. Healthy and sick, happy and unhappy, curious tourists and enthusiasts from many parts of the world came to Africa to find a flame at the top of the iceberg. Among them there were also those who saw everything in their life except the miraculous flame. It was the only link missing in the chain of their life, and they were determined to find it. I’ve never seen so many interesting people in one place before. Some of them were so loaded with everything and anything, that it seemed as if they had taken everything they had with them. Annoying sellers persuaded them that it was necessary to buy many things before going on the road. There was everything in the motley shelves, except flame and ice, which I could only notice in curious views. Nervous travelers moved around the crowd and burned cracked ground. The dust of the wasteland swoops down on them as if it wanted to tell them not to go on the road. The loud vortexes of the winds, which rushed tirelessly over their heads, persistently disturbed them in the preparations. However, the caravans did not give up. With their whiteness they resisted the wasteland and the sun, which, like a ruler, stood high above the desert, without the intention of descending. Blinded by its power, they could not clearly see the horizon, but only a vague, foggy scene that could have been close and far. Only the rocks made by wind, which, like ghosts, rise from the desert, were opposed to this scene. The caravans had no choice but to follow the invisible traces of sand dunes, which were spooky and hellish, and at the same time remarkably beautiful in their purity and solitude. Tired horses and camels, loaded with desires and hopes, were lost in the embrace of purple dusk and wild sounds of the wilderness. The occasional wailing of lonely hyenas and lions disrupted the magnificent wind symphony, which, together with the travelers, went to rest with the first embrace of the darkness. The mischievous stars played with the restless souls late in the night, sending, with their flickering, false signals to them that it might be somewhere in the distance a miraculous flame at the top of the iceberg. In these uncertain nights, nature became merciful to tired travelers, and sent them a fog and refreshment as an incentive to continue the journey. Every new awakening aroused hope in them that perhaps that day happiness will smile to them and that one of the mirrors of the miraculous iceberg would flash with the first rays of the sun. The area that was before them became eternity. The road took some caravans to the powerful waterfalls of the Victoria Falls and their beautiful rainbows, which, like the crowns, stood on the throne of a wondrous world. Behind the noise and colors, the unexplored rain forests waited for them. Some were convinced that the iceberg hides somewhere in their treetops. They searched for their wonder on the summits of Dragon Mountains, and in the inhospitable nature of the plateau of Ankarana. At some point, it seemed to them that they walked countless times the same way. Behind the long pursuit of sand and wind, there remained only the story of its struggle with the waves of the sea of long-lost lava. The pages of a new diary wrote a story about sad people with one wish in their hearts that remained unfulfilled. Exhausted from expectations and imagined, they touched one’s own sky as an infinite horizon without an iceberg and flame disappeared before them. All the searches turned into a legend of a miracle hidden somewhere in the beauty of mountain peaks, behind a cloak made of thick clouds and curtain wrapped in fog. The most persistent were waiting for variable winds.
The flame at the top of the iceberg, author Suzana Stojanović, April 25, 2017