“Not hammer-strokes, but dance of the water, sings the pebbles into perfection.”

―Rabindranath Tagore

 

Intricate rocks on the first beach we visited at Costa Brava

Uncomfortably sweaty, sunscreen sticky, and ready to get to the beach, this is how it started. Our enthusiastic guide Layla led our exhausted group over loose rocks, sandy terrain, and steep inclines in the 80-degree weather. My lack of sleep and the eternal conditions posed a challenge; fortunately, challenge is what drives me. During this time I was pushing myself to not have a negative attitude and to not twist an ankle-both would be EQUALLY as bad. All that effort was even more encouraged by the first beach that we visited. The water there was clearer than the one running through my faucet and bluer than the sky. (Of course this may be biased because I have never seen salty waters but if you ever have the chance to visit Costa Brava beaches please let me know if this statement is true!) Then the second beach that we hiked to was were we stopped for an hour break.

Well it’s quite obvious that since there was an island a few hundred meters away, I heard it BEGGING to be swam to. Does it matter that I have not swum in 3 years…? PSSSHHHTT no. I was reminded by a voice in my head

 

“Nie bój się, wypłyń na głębię”

translated to “Do not be afriad, swim to the deep end.”

 

Injuries from cutting my toe on the rock

The deep end is a great place to be. There, you are pushed beyond your comfort zone, you are at mercy of your own physical capabilities, you are forced to relax in order to remain calm. At the deep end you are also safe from rocks- sharp rocks that cut feet. After snorkeling and looking at the colorful fish and the vast underworld, I returned back to shore. All was well until I glanced down and saw my strangely red toe…I cut it on a rock! With the help of John’s outdoor medical care knowledge and Zarbab’s toilet paper ripping skills we were able to clean and secure my wound. The pain surely wasn’t what bothered me but it was the fear of future pain. Reflecting back, I realize how silly it is to worry! I hiked my way through Costa Brava, through Barcelona, and later even Mallorca with a deep aching cut on my toe. The anxiety I had was senseless! Physical pains and boundaries rarely ever limit, it’s a mental barrier that often prevents me from reaching new heights.

View of the coast that we hiked minutes earlier

The hike continued along the coast of the sea. Towering cliffs kissed the blue waters at each turn. I really liked the view as well as the gem that I found. Walking on the shore I spotted a green sparkle amidst the rocks. Reaching I saw that it was an eroded piece of glass that looked like an emerald. Because of the sway of the sea, it was smooth all over and the only memory of it ever being sharp glass was the brilliant color.

Incredibly clear waters guarded by buoys

Let’s remember that we are these cliffs and this piece of glass. Our regular routine, the adventures we decide to pursue, the unexpected experiences that meet us all act as the sea. The sea that is sometimes turbulent and other times gently caresses. But it’s never in one hit that we can become what we desire to be.

 

 

“Not hammer-strokes, but dance of the water, sings the pebbles into perfection.”

Me enjoying the breath-taking Mediterranean