To read the other authors’ posts, please go to http://thewriterscollection.com/
I didn’t grow up near a beach. I grew up in the countryside, surrounded by cows and corn fields. I always imagined the meadow by the house would take me far away to a place where the water looked absolutely transparent, and I could dive in it, swim naked in it, forget about my boring life and focus solely on my dreams. This meant not only fun, but mostly freedom and infinite possibilities.
When I turned fifteen, my father retired and decided to move to the South of France, so from that age up to twenty-two years I lived by the sea. Did my childhood dream come true? Yes and it actually morphed into something deeper than I thought. The water became my element, something I needed to breathe and feel whole. I loved driving down the Moyenne Corniche in my tiny little Fiat Seicento to find the empty beaches where no tourist went, and I stayed there all morning, from eight until noon, swimming most of the time. I also loved to snorkel and one day I even discovered a shipwreck underwater. Seeing that boat at the bottom of the sea made me feel weird inside. I thought of the people who sailed that ship, the storm that smashed the stern into pieces, and I imagined ghosts wandering on the deck, scaring curious witnesses like me. I felt one with the water, one with the world, and I wanted time to stop so I can enjoy it forever.
But the best experience I had happened in Corsica. We were vacationing with friends at the bottom of the island, by Bonifacio. The city sits on a cliff and offers an impressive panorama of the Mediterranean Sea. You feel like the horizon never ends when you stand there and you’re mesmerized at how much beauty Mother Nature throws in your face without you even asking for it.
One day we decided to go for a walk on the cliff to take pictures, until one old man driving a car down the road halted and asked us if we wanted to see the most beautiful beach in the world. At first we thought he might be a pervert or a psychopath, but after chatting a bit, we decided to follow him and jumped in his car. We were maybe crazy, certainly adventurous, but there was nothing to regret once we reached the shore he talked to us about.
White sand for miles. Nobody on the beach to disturb us. Water so warm and so clear you felt you had landed in a surreal environment. I believed only my imagination could have created a world like this one. That day I was proven wrong.
The beach marked my life forever. I will always remember the tiny waves hitting my toes, the tiny fish nibbling my legs, the white sand sticking to my feet, the sun hitting the water surface and creating a perfect mirror, and the little bit of the Sardinia coast I could see on the horizon. That day I was set on leaving France and settling in the United States because I knew in my heart everything was possible.
I’d like to return there someday, maybe with my best friends, maybe with my children, because that beach wasn’t only magical, it was heaven.