Footprints in the Sand


During our 10-day road trip around the island of Sardinia, Italy, we found ourselves in the sleepy town of Fluminimaggiore.  One afternoon we drove along a stretch of road with wall of sand fencing on one side and mountains on the other. The line of narrow parking spaces in front of the sand fence told us there was something to see on the other side of the sand breaks. So we pulled in to see what we could see.

We followed the maze of sand fence, our feet sinking into the mounds of sand, to discover a long, deserted spiaggia, beach, and an angry sea.

No footprints anywhere only the spattering of seagull tracks. Neither of us had ever been on a beach this long and wide with not one other person in sight. A small, secluded patch of sand tucked away, yes, but not a beach this large and easily accessible.  At first, it was a bit scary. The day was overcast and the water was rough. There was no lifeguard or homes overlooking the water. If something happened, who would we tell? We had passed only a handful of cars on our drive and between the maze of sand breaks atop the sand mounds we couldn’t be seen from the road either. 

In short time, the sun peeked through the grey clouds and the nervousness subsided allowing us to see it anew. We were able to relax and take in the amazing beauty before us. It was like sitting at the edge of the world, alone. A moment like this is what makes a vacation. This is why we go to faraway places, right?

You might be expecting a tale of how we sat that chilly day on a deserted beach in Fluminimaggiore quietly watching the roaring Mediterranean waters, contemplating life and had an epiphany that changed our lives. A revelation so profound it permanently altered our view of the world or at the very least our relationship. But there was no epiphany, no revelation. There will only be the sound of the angry sea, the feel of the sun and the memory of two 40-somethings acting like 6-year olds as we ran, jumped, cart wheeled, chased seagulls, and played tag until we laughed so hard our stomachs ached. As a result we left the beach with countless footprints in the sand.

We spent an hour or so like this before the wind picked up and shooed us off the beach. A wind so strong that like an etch-a-sketch would soon erase our footprints and prep the beach for the next couple’s childish adventures.