I headed back to the beach on the eastern part of the town - the quieter part, where only a few young families, couples and lone sunbathers dropped their towels on the rocks, where a few boats dropped their anchors and their sailors under the blanket of blue. I curved around the port - I wanted to see it under the high afternoon sun when it was busiest - few, if any, parking spots were vacant, for boats and cars alike. My eyes ran along the rows and rows of docked boats.
I can't remember where my love for maritime life emerged from - it has no known origin. It has just always been. It has always filled me with joy to watch boats rock on water, to see them docked, resting, ready. I look at their names, ask myself which one I'd prefer to call my own, where I'd go, whether I'd return. I stand there, imagining the feel of the rope in my palm, what a different life that would be. I'm partial to the blue boats, and all the more if they are rustic, weather-beaten, with tales to tell.
In Otranto that July afternoon, the composition of the scene at the port caught my eye. That precarious balance of standing out and fitting in, of being eager yet patient, ready to burst out of the gates, but content to be home. Isn't it a difficult balance to achieve, to stand out enough but not to spoil the harmonious sense of cohesion. That boat stood still, tethered to the sea's core, and gave the scene balance and meaning.
That boat made me look a moment longer.
Have you been to Otranto, Puglia? Do boats and maritime scenes also catch your eye? Leave me a comment so I know you're out there.
From my heart to yours.