The Summer of my 14th year, my family and I stayed at what is now called the Robinson Club Kyllini Beach, a Greek resort located on the western part of the Peloponnesus, about six hours from our home in Politia.
In that remote location, my brothers and I had the physical space to roam and the mental capacity to appreciate our freedom.
Experienced swimmers, we spent all our daylight hours in the Ionian Sea and every night in the enormous lighted pool whilst our parents stayed at the on-site taverna chatting up new friends.
It was a spirited time for five teenagers, as my parents loosened their grip once again with my youngest brother turning 13.
I’m number four in sibling order, and had never been alone before. And it was there that I experienced my first independent ‘stand-in-the-wind-with-arms-extended’ encounter with the purity that is joy.
I was the only person on the beach at sunset, and I was playing with the tide. This is where you follow the water line as it goes out to the horizon, then run inland as it chases you back.
Just me, I made up a song about a lady who lived in the ocean, who left the ocean, and the ocean calling her back. When the water came in, I curtsied and helped her out. When the water went out, I curtsied and waved her goodbye.
In my swimsuit, bare feet and wrap skirt … with my sea-washed sun-dried hair and slight sunburn, I sang out loud into the warm evening air and waltzed with the water line as it drifted in and flowed out.
I sang over the hum of the gentle crashing waves. I played tag with Mother Nature’s tamed aquatic beast. I delighted when the fellow nipped my toes. I explored my energy and saw my soul. On that beach in the southern part of Greece, I engaged in the gloriousness of what it is to be vibrant.
I was, as the saying goes, dancing like no one was watching. Oblivious.
A few months shy of turning 15, I felt stunningly beautiful.
Then I spun around mid twirl and noticed a boy of maybe 17 or 18 watching me from a grassy hill. He wasn’t doing anything wrong; he just happened upon this scene.
I retreated into my core,out of embarrassment, picked up my sandals and dashed off to find my brothers and parents.
But for twenty minutes tops, I danced one of the most confident moments of my life.
End Part Two.