The day was hot…
His white turban was soaking wet, unable to hold the wetness of his scalp for any longer under the heat of the early afternoon sun.
As the man perspired, the dense sweat kept on dripping down his sunburnt forehead and crossed his face until it stopped on his thick and rough beard.
The skin on his face, burnt day after day by the same sun for the past five years and the other twenty five years before those, was almost as brown as his garments.
At the nape of his neck, the perspiration was running down his back, making his tunic stick to his back.
A drop of sweat slid into his left eye and brought with it an ephemeral sensation of salt water touching his iris.
Used to that feeling, the man blinked, shook his head and then wiped it with the sleeve of his dusty undergarment.
The Hebrew man walked slowly, punching his walking stick firmly against the dry soil, stepping up and down through the uneven terrain while trying to keep a constant pace as he followed his daily path through the sinuous margins of the Kebar River.
Once he stopped at his usual spot to catch the slightly humid breeze coming from beyond the dark blue waters of the canal between the Tigris and the Euphrates, the man contemplated the arid landscape and its few tones of green vegetation that contrasted with the blend of earth and sand.
As he stood there admiring the broad landscape for a couple of minutes, the man concluded that his current life of captivity in the Jewish exiles of Babylon was not as bad as he and the desire of his eyes – how he would rather refer to his wife – had expected, after all.
After taking a deep breath, he raised his arms wide and looked at the immensity of the horizon. For an instant, the man reasoned how small he and everything else he had ever touched were in comparison to that image.
Immersed within the solitude and quietness, the Hebrew slowly looked up north and felt as if he attended on a calling from the heavenly skies.
That was when he saw it.
Moving on his direction, there was a great cloud with fire flashing continuously, surrounded by a brilliant light, more brilliant than anything that the man had ever seen before…