The caravansarai were once the resting places along the Great Silk Road. Here, we found warm welcome, food, water, fresh camels, information, and of course, a little gossip to lighten the journey. A night’s rest, then setting out again with the Dawn…Jolting along the ancient Road, I listen for the beat of the drum, my gaze lost in far horizons. Swaying high above the drifting sands, I close my eyes and dream of Home…
The Silk Road * Travels With the Higher Self
How I have loved the ancient Silk Road. – a metaphor for Life here on Earth!
I close my eyes and see the shimmering horizons, vast peaks rising far away…I feel the ancient rhythms, hear the ancient wisdom, and revel in the sands and grasses flowing – this river of Time, this river of human life. Though its physical form is now buried in the ever-shifting sands, it lives as a metaphor for human life on Earth.
Beginning in ancient China, its Source, the Silk Road flows out through Central Asia, pauses at Iran, the ancient Gatekeeper, then continues steadily through the Middle East to the Mediterranean world and its children in Time, Europe. As it winds, passing through whole worlds of deserts, mountains, great cities and small village huts, the Silk Road still lives, pulsing in time with the heartbeat of the Caravan.
The ancient Silk Road consisted of trails, roads, bridges, and pathways that stretched across nearly 5,000 miles of land and water (we tend to forget the magic of the Silk Road by Sea). It was not one long road, but rather many smaller roads and pathways that were connected, and worn by the use of thousands of travelers over a period of hundreds of years.
“Although it is suspected that significant trade occurred for about 1,000 years beforehand, the Silk Road opened around 139 B.C. once China was unified under the Han dynasty. It started at Changan (Xian) and ended at Antioch or Constantinople (Istanbul), passing by commercial cities such as Samarkand and Kashgar.
“It was very rare that caravans traveled for the whole distance since the trade system functioned as a chain. Merchants with their caravans were shipping goods back and forth from one trade center to the other. Major commodities traded included silk (of course), gold, jade, tea and spices. Since the transport capacity was limited, over long distance and often unsafe, luxury goods were the only commodities that could be traded.
“The Silk Road also served as a vector for the diffusion of ideas and religions (initially Buddhism and then Islam), enabling civilizations from Europe, the Middle East and Asia to interact.” Taken From The Silk Road and Arab Sea Routes
It is a safe bet that almost all of us traveled this ancient Silk Road in at least one of our other lives. We wore other faces, other skin colors, other garments; we believed in other gods, feared other peoples; sometimes we rode, lurching along on the backs of camels, horse and mules; sometimes we walked, for it was what our camels could carry that made this Road such a legend in its own time.