A Love Lesson from a Moroccan Wall

Marrakech Love on Wall 

The love we give away is the only love we keep.

- Elbert Hubbard

On a salmon-pink back alleyway in Marrakech, Morocco, I discovered a tribute to love’s enduring and universal nature.

Its medium was white chalk; the hand that drew it undoubtedly belonged to a child; its canvas was a rugged wall. That spring, as I explored an exotic land far from home, the sketch would symbolize to me love’s universal nature.

As I walked Marrakech’s calmer residential lanes solo, aiming to escape the bustling souk (marketplace) and experience Moroccan traditions, I encountered curious children of all ages. One group of boys enthusiastically kicked a soccer ball about. I snapped a photo of them as the ball rolled into the frame, seemingly on cue. I also passed a duo of boys ferrying bread dough to a communal oven for baking. When they saw I had a camera in hand, they hammed it up just long enough for me to capture a shot. Even as they skipped off into the distance, the baking trays remained impressively placed atop their little heads, indicating that they’d had some prior practice at this errand.

A year after that first solo jaunt to Morocco, I would return to the ‘Pink City’ with my mother. She was eager to see the exotic North African escape that had so captivated me with its lantern-making districts, silver mountains of tea paraphernalia, colorful spice pyramids, delicately-flavored foods, and welcoming people. Lost in the labyrinthine passageways, we unexpectedly explored new corners of the legendary city as well as lovely nooks and crannies I’d missed the year before. But one familiar scene alerted me that we’d also tiptoed on paths I’d explored the previous year.

We rounded a corner, and there it was — the same love doodle that had so charmed me the year before! Apparently, love was also quite enduring.

May you celebrate the enduring and universal spirit of love this Valentine’s Day!

Photography & text © by Tricia A. Mitchell . All Rights Reserved.

Related Articles

Heidelberg Castle Grounds at Sunset View of Altstadt and NeckarLove in the Air at the Heidelberg Castle

'Cupid' in Buddha Park, LaosA Quasi Cupid & Flowers for Buddha

Hauptstrassse FlowersFlowers to Wish You a Happy Day

Paris Eiffel Tower with a Harvest Moon © Tricia A MitchellLove for La Tour Eiffel

About these ads

25 Comments on “A Love Lesson from a Moroccan Wall

    • Marina, thank you. I really found it remarkable that the same artwork was there the second year.

      Here’s hoping that you and your beau had a splendid day yesterday. Is your sister still in town?

    • Antoinette, Morocco was one of my earlier solo travel destinations, so initially I was a bit unsure of how it’d be. I found it to be similar to what I experienced in other Mediterranean countries solo (generally, friendly males on the streets!). My third trip to Morocco, I went with a female friend, and we had no challenges either. The shopkeepers can be very persistent with their sales approach (as in many countries) so I learned how to say ‘no thank you’ in Arabic.

      As with any destination, common sense precautions are important. For Morocco, I opted to wear longer clothes than I would normally wear in Europe. I saw European visitors wearing more sparse summer clothes than mine. I’m sure they didn’t have any problems, but as a solo traveler I felt I attracted less attention dressed the way I did. Also, I’ve read about some solo female travelers wearing a fake wedding ring during their travels. On a similar vein, I’d always make it sound as though I had a husband or family back at the hotel to meet, and that I was only out and about for a short afternoon jaunt through the city.

      I have a grasp of French, so I enjoyed using that to communicate with the Moroccans I met. I’m sure many in the tourist/business sectors also speak English, though.

      I also travelled to Tunisia solo and found my interactions to be similar to those in Morocco. I met really kind people in both countries (fellow tourists and local residents) and that made my visits really special.

      Are you thinking of heading there sometime soon? I loved Morocco!

  1. What a lovely post. Morocco is my favorite country and Marrakesh my favorite city! Thanks for following my blog Middle East Moments. I have just followed yours as from everything I’ve read I related to it so much. You have a great blog.

    • Andrea, I’m glad our paths have crossed! I shall look forward to hearing more of your tales about life in Jordan. I visited Amman, Petra, and the Dead Sea in 2009, and of course, Petra was incredible. I hope to return someday! How long have you lived there?

      • I’ve been living here for nearly 3 years and what a 3 years it has been – married to a Jordanian, built a house and we have a 1 year old daughter. If you do come back then you must let me know and I can give you personalised tour of Jordan.

      • What a thoughtful offer – thank you, Andrea!

        You must be having fascinating experiences. Is your daughter being raised to be bilingual?

      • Definitely learning something new nearly every hour not just every day! I speak to our daughter in English and my husband and everyone else speaks to her in Arabic so we are hoping that she will grow up speaking both languages from the get go.

      • How wonderful that she’s being exposed to multiple languages at a young age! Yesterday, we visited an English class at a Croatian school. We were quite impressed by how well the 5th graders were doing with their second/third languages. (They start learning English here in 1st grade.) Seems your daughter will be on a similar path!

Join the conversation.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,731 other followers