I am not going to go on vacation this summer. I really want to, but it’s not in the cards. Between my daughter going off to college in early August and my husband’s work schedule jammed up into the fall, there will be no time for sandy beaches or exotic isles. But I can still dream and remember ….
The other night, it was really windy, and as the storm blew through, we began playing music that fit the weather. I put on a Talking Heads song called “Listening Wind” – “the wind in my heart, the gust in my head, drive them away, drive them away…” I thought about a summer many years ago when I went to the Greek Islands, and the southern wind started to blow. It comes across the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa, a desert wind. I’ve always loved the desert winds. When we lived in California, there were the Santa Ana’s that swept in from the east, causing the air to be electrified and people to go a little bit crazy.
We were on the island of Mykonos, planning to leave for Paros when the winds began to blow. It got so hot at night in our hotel room that we dragged the mattress off the bed and slept out on the terrace under the stars. I loved to lie on the soft white sheets with the white stone of the small private balcony hiding the bed from anyone’s view and the vivid deep blue of the Greek heavens above me. The dawn spread a rose colored glow, and I would open my eyes, sit up and look over the white wall at the turquoise sea. For three days, we tried to leave and move on with our trip, but the waters were too rough and dangerous for the ferry to operate between the islands. We would get up at dawn, drag the mattress back into our room, pack our bags and trek down to the dock, only to find that once again, the ferry wasn’t running.
On the fourth day, when the sun was rising, we woke and saw the branches rustling on the bushes on the terrace yet again and decided to go back to sleep. A few hours later, we came downstairs, and the owner of the hotel told us that the ferry to Paros had left on time. “Oh no!” I exclaimed. “So what?” he replied, shrugging his shoulders. In that moment, I realized that he was so right. We were on vacation. Forget the schedule, lose the watch, let it all go.