I love my husband dearly.
However, the joy I feel as I walk, solo, out of our Sardinian apartment is overwhelming. As I step into the narrow, winding cobblestone alley I feel joy bubble up inside of me. Unable to contain myself, it comes out as a squeak, with a simultaneous skip of the feet.
Alone, at last! My introverted soul soars out towards the glittering harbour and up to the blue skies. This moment... is mine. I breathe a deep, satisfying breath. It is just me and my journal, and the waves of the Mediterranean, crashing against ancient stone walls.
Now in 2018, a row of apartments face the water. White-washed buildings with turquoise doors, pink façades with blue windows, and yellow buildings with wooden shutters. All of them aglow in the late afternoon sun.
And the sun... oh, the sun! So delightfully gentle. I could sit for hours on this bench and not worry about burning.
This is happiness for me. A harbour full of gleaming masts, swaying and clanking; the percussion for the seagulls symphony. Nowhere to be, nothing to be done. Just me and my journal, and the warm, crinkled smiles of wizened Sardinians, nodding silent greetings as they pass by.
The sun has dipped behind a fluffy bank of clouds, streaming glorious beams of celestial light from behind it. This is my heaven. But it's time to move on.
Following the curve of the promenade, I step into the wind. My skirt whips around my knees as I walk, my cardigan billowing out behind me. The coolness of the salty wind on my face edges on discomfort. It reminds me how alive I am.
Stopping to lean on the ancient wall, I watch as the rugged shoreline entices the deep, azure waters to join it, again and again. Not a stone seems to budge with the relentless chase of the tide. Such bravery! Such fortitude! These rocks and the wall that is built upon them have withstood the waves for centuries, and will likely stand for centuries more.
The birds in the rustling palms behind me twitter with excitement. Twilight approaches.
The moment shimmers with possibility! But the shimmering is brief. Lamps click on, pouring fluorescence onto the cobblestones. The spell is broken. The moment is beckoned away by the departed sun, now illuminating the other side of the world with early morning light.
All enchantment is not lost, however. The night is a new kind of wonder, a new kind of adventure.
For someone else, perhaps.
For me, it is my queue to head home. I did not dress for the chill that is now present beneath the darkening sky. I begin to walk back. Just me and my journal, and the slap of my sandals on the stones.
These moments, like grains of sand in our hands, glint golden while we hold them, only to fall through our fingers and be carried away by the breeze, seconds later. Let them fall. Do not try to catch the grains as they fly away, lest you lose sight of the new ones being poured into your palms, ready to be admired.