Prompt #61: Simple*
I pull out my notebook to jot down some thoughts because I want to remember these moments forever–simple pleasures of being tickled by cool water trickling through my toes, digging my hands in the sand until they are covered in damp black and gold specks, brushing wisps of hair out of my face put there by the constant, lovely breeze.I write the date in Italian without thinking, and I smile.
I didn’t bring my journal or camera because a trip to the sea wasn’t in the original plan. I have to give final exams in an hour or so, but I decide to head to the beach instead of straight to school–no matter that I have no swimsuit or towel (although always sunscreen).
At least I’m wearing flip-flops and a little sand on my jean skirt isn’t going to hurt anyone.
Despite summer-like temperatures, I am nearly alone on the beach. Two bikini-clad blondes, already sufficiently abbronzate if you ask me, lounge nearby, laughing and joking, switching easily from French to French-accented Italian and back again. We exchange buon giornos, but nothing more. I wonder what brought them to southern Italy, but they seem content in their world, so I don’t ask.
I look up from my notebook and see the back of a shiny black head pop up from the water. Just as quickly, the head dips back under and flippers peek out where it had been. The Ionian Sea is so clear, he can surely see to the bottom without all that gear, but he seems happy, and that’s what’s important. I am reminded that an amateur diver discovered the famous Riace Bronze statues just south of here in the early 1970s, and I wonder whether similar treasures lie just below this guy’s mask.
There’s a teenage girl a little ways down, standing in the water, her short navy blue skirt grazing the surface. She’s whipping her head from side to side, struggling to keep her long, black, curly hair out of her way as she furiously types a text message on her phone. She’ll spend the entire hour I’m here on the phone in one way or another, but no one joins her. I wonder if anyone came after I left, and I hope that someday she’ll appreciate her own company if she doesn’t already.
A sailboat eases by, two men on board casually steering the craft between the scuba diver’s periodically surfacing head and a rather large fishing boat anchored in the sea. I can’t tell what they’re saying from here, but they’re smiling and laughing. The wind is perfect for sailing as far as I know, but admittedly, that isn’t very much. They go back and forth, back and forth, and I think that it’ll soon be time to call home and tell their wives/mothers to put on the pasta, as the time for pranzo is approaching. I wonder if they’ll take a contented nap after they eat.
I put down my notebook and return to the water I had waded in up to my knees when I first arrived–earlier today, yes, but as my feet sink into the wet sand, I realize, also five years ago. I am back in virtually the same spot in which I had first experienced the Ionian Sea, when I had vacationed here what seems like a lifetime ago, when I had no idea that I’d end up making a life here, when P and Luna didn’t even exist, at least to me.
I am taken back to the thoughts that were occupying my mind at that time–my twenty-five-year old mind that started to play with a silly thought of making a major life change, of stepping off the fast-track and pursuing the passions that had always been in my heart but that had been pushed aside for more practical considerations.
The water is calm, refreshing, and oh so clean–cleansing, one could say. I regret that I can’t go in deeper as I have to play professional in half an hour. I laugh to myself as I glance back at the sweater I brought along in case it got chilly. The sweater will stay tucked in my bag for another time, though, because today, the weather is perfect, the breeze is perfect, and this moment is perfect.
And I don’t want to ever forget it.
*I’m posting this early because I won’t be around tomorrow; First Holy Communion time round here, which means some family fun.
Have a lovely weekend everyone!
[tags]sunday scribblings, sea, beach, ionian sea, calabria, soverato[/tags]