More than half of my life In Lebanon was spent by the beach. We used to not even wait till school was over before moving to our summer little home by the seaside. With life on the shores of the Mediterranean came certain traditions, like swimming one hour-long to reach a cargo ship and jump from its deck, take a knife and a lemon on a ‘haske’ (a flat wooden row-boat), and dive to some nearby rocks to loosen sea urchins from the rocks, open them, clean them with seawater and then finally garnish them with some lemon juice before scooping out the orange caviar and humming our enjoyment. I can say for certain that life by the beach was always the highlight of the whole year for us children. This past summer I wanted to relive another special excitement from my childhood, which was waking up at dawn and joining the fishermen for 5 or 6 hours to witness the process of their daily catch. There is no meditation as soothing as those early morning hours spent rocked by slight movement of the boat, warmed by the early rays of morning sun and serenaded by fishermen’s songs as they dive in and out of the water in search for their sea dwellers.
We are born into it, we breathe in it for the last months of our womb existence, we are made of almost 70% of it, we crave it first when thirsty before any other liquid, we bathe in it, our continents are surrounded by it from all sides, our atmosphere is soaked with it, we love the sound of it when it falls and meanders, separated from it we die, and splashing in it, is pure joy!!!
From a hot summer holiday, a bit of value for our greatest planetary resource, and thanks for the abundance of it on our beautiful blue planet.
This is a bay of memories for me. I have spent every long summer there since my early childhood and have gone back to it every summer almost without fail (war events permitting). It is the place I caught my first starfish, the beach where we dove from ships into the water, the waters we went fishing in at sunrise, the waters I practiced water skiing and wind surfing on, the sea whose waters we children used to hide and play in till the early evening hours…yes, this place is a home of some sort. And the most special thing of all is its light. The evening light that tells stories to sailors and fishermen, the magical glow that bathes everything with a strange purple light.
photo taken: sunset at Beny Beach, Chekka, North Lebanon