I’ve just spent the weekend in Liguria at a typical little seaside town called Varazze. And as it’s not my intention to turn this into a travel blog, I’m simply going to tell you about five things that struck me while I was there. Here’s the first.
“Thing” doesn’t seem the right word to describe the sea. Forgive me. It is a being, a living being. I watched the waves roll in and out on Saturday as they have done forever and ever, and I wondered why it is that this thing, this being—the mass of water that is our oceans and seas—draws us to it. And I wondered, too, how it is exactly that it gives us back our childhoods and reminds us of our mortality all at the same time.
I was sitting on an enormous piece of driftwood, just behind a dune of sand and Ligurian stones—round, polished black-and-white veined pebbles that make music when the water rushes over them. The Mediterranean was alive with diamonds. Nothing else happened. I felt happy and sad all at the same time. But, this is what it is to be alive, isn’t it?
This vast reminder of life and death and childhood and everything is the constant thrumming backdrop to the candy colors and the open-air card games and the desperate kisses and the gelato-stained children—all those things that add up to the uniquely colorful life that thrives on the Italian Riviera. You eat and drink well, love the people you love, sit without striving, follow the sun, and allow yourself to be dazzled by the brilliance of one more day on this planet.