Dark clouds frame the horizon as I walk towards the water that still lies perfectly even in front me. It is this calm before the storm that makes my body ache with anticipation — like a wave that is slowly building even when it still remains hidden from the surface. How far can you go before it hits you? Will you see it coming? What will it do to you this time? I close my eyes and inhale the salty air that seems to be charged with the energy of what is still to come.
As if it is trying to escape the dark wall of clouds that is coming closer and closer a lonesome seagull flies over my head towards the safe harbour of the small beach town that has once again become my home for the summer. We crossed the bridge and left the mainland almost four weeks ago now, and it feels like we’ve never looked back. Living on the island is like living in a bubble. We sit and talk by the water that is only a few feet away from our home above the café that we work at during the day. Surrounded by the everlasting sounds of acoustic music and the smell of freshly brewed coffee we spend our days in the same place that we don’t ever need to leave. This is home away from home. The people, a second family. Kitesurfing and coffee and jam sessions and the setting sun on the horizon and a new day every morning.
Something beautiful happened the other night. I didn’t feel like myself; couldn’t tell what was wrong but something was missing. Running in circles that had no beginning and no end I had spent the day thinking and thinking without getting anywhere. After work I sat down by the water and listened to music. I let it all in as soon as the music started playing. I let it consume me. And I cried. Not because I was sad, but because I was alive. I let the moment overwhelm me as I stared at the water in front of me, and when I had no more tears to cry I closed my eyes and drifted away into another world of my own.
Wide awake I lie in my bed in the middle of the night and stare through the open window that has been playing my favourite show on constant repeat for the past couple of nights. I watch the old walnut tree that is bending forward and backwards as the wind continues to beat against it with all its force and power. I picture the boats that lay perfectly still in the habour only a night before. Their occupants must not be getting the most comfortable sleep tonight. Whining and howling, the boats’ masts lean against the night’s storm. Dong dong dong — ropes and cords that knock against each other. Some of them sound like the ringing of a church bell somewhere in the distance.
I lean over as my fingers search for my phone on the bedside table. It is two o’ clock in the morning. The storm is still supposed to get stronger. Tossing and turning under the warm and cozy blankets I ponder getting dressed already. My alarm is set for five o’ clock.
I lean forward and close my eyes as the wind catches the weight of my body while my feet try to hold on to the concrete with fierce desperation. Gusts of wind shoot past me and take my breath away as my lungs frantically gasp for air. This is when I feel most alive. So small. So insignificant. I am everything and nothing. I am home.