The smell of rain reminds me of Mevlana
It is mid-July and it has been raining since a couple of weeks in the northern part of Europe. Since my holiday in Turkey one month ago, the smell of water pouring out of the sky reminds me at times of Mevlana (teacher or master), that’s how the Turkish people address Jalal ad-Din Rumi. During my holiday I went to Konya and spent one day and one night there.
Since I do not have a driving license, my sister and I had to go there by public transport. First we took a dolmus (minibus) to Antalya, then continued with big bus to Konya. The covered distance was 600 km, yet; it took us 12-13 hours since the road is twisted along the coastline and mountainous from Antalya to Konya.
We had a lot of sun along the coast, so we were really surprised to have rain when we arrived in Konya. Our local guide was very kind to bring us to the Mevlana cultural center to see the sema sen (swirling dervish) performance. Usually they only do it in December in commemoration of the death of Mevlana on Dec 17th, 1273. Yet, since this year is the year of Mevlana in Turkey (800 years after his birth), the government decided to build a cultural center and organize a sema performance every Saturday, started on 9 PM.
During the swirling ceremony you are not allowed to take picture and afterwards no clapping, since it is a religious ritual. The most important persons are the shaikh (teacher) and the second person walking behind him since he is the one who will correct the dervishes in case they do not do it properly. First they greet each other by bowing in front of the red carpet (the red carpet should represent Mevlana himself). After everyone greeted each other three times they started to swirl accompanied by the traditional sufi music, the reet flute being the main instrument used. I was very tired after the long journey since we also did not have time for lunch nor dinner, yet, when the dervishes started to turn around I forgot it all. Soft and calming vibration engulfed me, even my sister who likes to complain a lot did not utter a single word.
The next day our local guide (arggh I forget his name) took us to the Mevlana museum which also contains Rumi’s tomb. He is a very humble man since when he was asked whether he would like to have a tomb upon his grave, he answered that the sky is the greatest dome you can have above your head. His son built the tomb after his death anyway.
That day we were blessed with some rain again, at least according to our guide, “You are very lucky to have some rain. Usually the temperature is about 35 degree Celcius at this time of the year.”
What amazes me most is the fact that I could not take even one nice picture of his tomb, it felt like I got a cognitive black out when I was inside. The atmosphere is very conducive for prayers and meditation, but no photographing whatsoever. When I am back home I realize that I had not been able to take any nice picture of my whole holiday in Turkey! It’s merely that I didn’t realize it until I was in Mevlana’s tomb. Even a week after I came back, I noticed that my cognitive function took its time, painstakingly slow, to recover to normal state.
Come, come, whoever you are
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving
It doesn’t matter
Ours is not a caravan of despair
Come, even if you have broken your vow
a hundred times
Come, yet again, come, come