The sun’s powerful rays gently caress my skin as I turn my back to its glaring gaze, my spine’s epidermis gratefully soaking in the Vitamin D provided by the flaming ball of hydrogen at the centre of the universe. I dig my hands and feet further into the coarse yet pleasingly soft sand, feeling as if I could almost melt into its depths, a natural bed consisting of trillions of particles of rock fragments and minerals below me.
My ears fill with shouts of joy, the murmur of conversation and the energetic buzz of hundreds of people spending the day at the beach. A pleasant white noise, calming the senses. In the background my ears pick up the sound of waves gently crashing against the shore.
My mind, soul and body are all at peace as I lay there, Pandora’s box of evils unable to reach me. I am finally content, I have asserted my place in the universe.
Crete. It has always been my favourite place in the world, and it still is. The only thing that’s changed is that now I can call the island my home. I no longer dream of the day I will spread my wings and find my nest, as now I inhabit its ancient walls of stone. Walls ingrained with thousands of years of history, of a golden empire interwoven with tales of gods and fate.
If fate is a controlling force of time, of destiny, then it was fate that brought me here. I used to resent that force, certain it was intent on destroying me. But now I realise that fate had a plan, and it all lead to here. To now. To living. To freedom.
I walk down the Main Street of Heraklion, Crete’s capital city, bursting with life and rich in colour. A variety of shops line the heart of the town, with winding streets throughout, like arteries to the organ, pumping the city with life. From the top of the street you can glimpse the electric blue of the Mediterranean Sea. The white outlines of the dancing waves invite me into their embrace.
In the evenings I like to stroll by the sea and listen to the whisper of the waves. I like to think they whisper the secrets of the universe, telling stories of millennia past under the glowing blanket of the moon and stars. The city still bustles with activity at 8 in the evening, yet the ambience is more peaceful without the domineering glare of the sun and its scorching heat. Family and friends sit together in restaurants or on benches while tourists gaze in awe at the beautiful architecture of the Old Town. The streets are illuminated with many lights that create a warm, pleasant glow in the night-time darkness.
I exhale as my mind begins to wander. I slowly push myself out of my laying position, and it takes my eyes a moment to adjust after having closed them for so long. Eventually, the beach comes into focus, and my head clears. I take in the exuberance radiating from my surroundings, and smile to myself.
Life has never been so good.