What is it about the sea that makes my heart happy? I am here now.
My soulstrolling friend, Kayce Stevens Hughlett, and I, said ‘yes’ to a writers retreat on Hydra, one of the Saronic Islands, located in the Aegean Sea. Aboard the Flying Dolphin from Piraeus we pulled 2 cards from the soulstrolling inspiration deck:
Heed your voice and immerse. What an invitation.
Journal entry, October 11
Hydra, my beach find. Where I crave, need to retreat daily. To immerse my spirit in the water so as to hear my own heartbeat. “Rage at the chaos,” says my relative by name, Seamus Heaney. Pebbles of time, worn smooth by ancient seas. Land of myth, mythology, and mystery. History, her story, riding upon the waves. Cries from the deep, like donkeys braying in the port.
October 8 would have been my dad’s 86th birthday. Early that morning Kayce and stepped across the hotel threshold. A flock of pigeons startled at our appearance, flying rapidly into the blue sky. A pomegranate lay splayed open by the wall. Crying, sobbing sounds from a rooftop. Looking behind I took Kayce’s arm and we stepped aside. Dark brown doors opened to reveal 5 men carrying a coffin. Death. Witnesses to a family’s pain, as the coffin was placed aboard a boat.
“We write to taste life twice.” Anaï Nin
It was necessary for me to swim daily. To submerge my mind and body in the sea. Each afternoon I strolled from our lodgings at Hotel Bratsera, along the cobbled paths, past multi colored tabby cats lounging on steps, donkeys, (there are no vehicles on Hydra) under olive and citrus tress, past restaurants and cafés, to the pebbled beach.
Grateful for: sunlight reflecting off white washed walls, red and blue doors, pink bougainvillea, lunch and dinner with a view at Tėchnē, white cypress trees, pine cones, church bells, birds chatting outside my window, dancing in a circle with new friends in the harbor, drinks at sunset by the sea, a sliver of moon.