Exactly a week has passed since I arrived to the island of Korčula in the southern Adriatic. It feels like a long month and a short-lived day at the same time. When I am enjoying myself, I’ve noticed, time seems to stand still and fly simultaneously. Back in New York, I pack in so much and so many experiences into one week that my head often spins with the multitasking of everyday life. Here on the island, life is slow.
I wake up in the mornings around 8.30am and do a wake-up yoga session on the terrace overlooking the sea and the islets and islands across the way. I then have a breakfast of cereal and green tea, again on the terrace. Life happens alfresco here; indoors, I only use the bathroom and the kitchen and I sleep. After breakfast, I walk the steps down to the beach (a one-minute stroll) for a sunbathe and a swim. I gave myself a task of swimming backstroke to a white buoy some 300 metres away and back, twice a day. I skipped the swims the day before yesterday due to tall waves and strong winds, and yesterday afternoon because a storm seemed to be on its way. Apart from that, I’ve been feeling proud of my discipline to stick to my daily “tasks”.
After the swim, it’s hammock time! I lie in “my” hammock underneath pine trees (I share the house with five friends each summer yet the hammock is always my spot, since hardly anyone else seems drawn to it in the same intense way). I swing for a while, meditating the blue of the sea in front of me and the green of the trees above. I let myself be taken over by the Mediterranean scents of pine, sea salt and lavender; the wind or breeze (depending on the day); the sound of the waves and, apart from an occasional motorboat passing, silence… Then I read. I finished three books and reading the fourth in the six days I’ve been here. After reading, I doze off, sometimes fall asleep. Usually it’s the craving for food that wakes me up. I walk up to the house to fix myself a lunch. My favorite has been fish pâté (today it’s freshly made by my friends from the fish we had at dinner the other night – incredibly delicious!) on corn bread and a salad of tomato with organic olive oil from the olive grove in the island’s interior, owned by my friend’s parents (who also own the house where I’m staying). Then I’m back in the hammock or the lounge chair on the terrace, reading. Until time comes for the afternoon swim and sunbathe.
In the evening, there’s a daily feast of a dinner. My friends do magic in the kitchen so we’ve been having sumptuous treats every night since I arrived. One night there was octopus baked with veggies, there was grilled fish several evenings, and a juicy barbecued steak another night. Tonight we are having fish again, since my friend caught some lovely looking specimens in his net yesterday. All is accompanied by fresh salads and sinful deserts. After dinner, we chat or I just space out looking at the bright stars and moonlight above. This is how I’ve been spending my days on Korčula. A few more days remain.
Did I forget to mention the magical moment from a couple of days ago? The sun was going down during my “hair appointment” on the beach. Read: my friend Ramona was cutting off my pretty long hair by the sea. As she was chopping off the hair I’d been letting grow for a year – a particularly difficult year for me – and the sun was slowly fading, I decided the hair-cutting was to be a symbolic fresh start. From this moment on, good things and positive changes will come my way. At that moment, I see a big ripple in the sea, very close to the shore. Wondering what it was, I point it out to Ramona. And there he was: a lone baby dolphin making jumps out of the sea, diving in and out until he disappeared on the horizon. It was one of those moments that you wish you could freeze and rewind when things get tough and emotions run low. That singular joy of experiencing something out of the ordinary and knowing how special it is, as it’s happening. How rare. And how beautiful.