Dusk on the island shore
A very strange phenomenon I have encountered repeatedly is with the fear islanders have of the sea or it might be a great awe of the mysterious waters. I keep finding out that locals that live near the sea or ocean never really go into it with the exception of fishermen and sailors. Even in Lebanon, my grandmother who lived all her life 15 minutes away from the shore of the mediterranean, had never set foot in its waters before she passed away. It is also said that the fishermen of the Isle of Aran near the Irish coast, never learn how to swim as they claim it would be much better to die faster by drowning in case they ever fall from their boats.
photo taken: local fishermen on the shores of Boracay~ Philippines
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.