In all of your inviting heat and all your glistening golden sand, Portugal, I am in love. Your water is flat again today, like glass – just like every other day. Entranced, I stand at your shoreline with my eyes pressed gently shut as all sense of time disintegrates to another world. I’m lulled by your tide as it creeps sheepishly up to linger at my toes before flowing slowly back out to the Atlantic Ocean.
The sun beats harshly down on us, today more so than most. So the ocean serves as a necessary refuge as we dip our heads under and a shocking numbness overcomes our bodies. We race back up to our towels with the dry sand underneath our burning feet.
Nobody here stands out. People are black, people are white, brown, some of us are red, scorched under the sun. There are children, families, teenagers, retirees. We are Portuguese, German, Slovakian, Japanese, Australian. Yet all are unified in this tiny cove in the South of Portugal. We are not only enclosed but protected by the formations of grottos, and surrounded by the silent gulls that circle above.