A brief recap: Winter has now arrived, but life in the western Algarve remains an alluring place to be.
The Atlantic Ocean at Praia da Luz never ceases to amaze and inspire. I am forever gazing absent-mindedly at the endless blue that dominates the periphery from my balcony at Ocean Villas Luz. We live in unusual times where restrictions are commonplace, but the sea offers me a means of escape – a reminder of the freedom that we so longingly crave.
As humans, we are drawn to the sea like ineffable magnets. Within its abyss lies beauty, danger and above all a romantic sense of mystery. Akin to a roaring fire, how often we find ourselves mesmerised, hypnotically bound by something of which we can never tame. It is the sea that brought me here and it is the sea that ensures I remain.
On sunny days, the ocean is like water from my tap – pellucid, refreshing and enticing. It is the same sea that we observe upon a thousand Algarve picture postcards. When the sky grows cloudy, the sea becomes glassy, like the metallic sheen of a freshly polished car.
Today, in the wake of my morning run, the sea whips wild waves against the shoreline rocks. There is a majesty to a stormy sea that demands respect. Treat her like an unpredictable queen as she is just as likely to incite pride as to chop off your head. The many shipwrecks along the Algarve coast will attest to her despotic volatility.
Recently, I interviewed an artist based in Almadena, near Praia da Luz. She advised me that it was impossible to take a bad photo in the western Algarve. She’s right. The colours are broad and dynamic – an artist’s dream. They mirror our moods and our desires. Maybe it is this that attracts us the most – humankind reflected within the personality of the ocean depths.
Or perhaps we find attraction in something that we can never truly have? In an increasingly materialistic world, the sea remains as free and undomesticated as it has ever been. It is as exhilarating as it is soporific. As gentle as it is savage. It is the last unchartered territory. A world without laws, without restrictions, without lockdowns.
Tomorrow the forecast is calm and promises a sea of tranquillity, but for now, as I sit on my balcony, I am content, held in the grasp of the ocean’s omnipotent charm. To me, she instils stoicism and sanguinity. She has seen far more than you or I, having lived through pandemics and battles and wars. Yet she offers infinite joy to all those who are willing to dip their toes into her hallowed waters. She is, perhaps, our liberator and we would all do well to keep her in mind when times are tough.
I shall sign off this month with a quote from one of the great artists and with it a welcome dose of positivity about the world in which we live and those who inhabit it.
“The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and in its depths it has its pearls too”
Vincent van Gogh
The sea will be waiting for you whenever you are able to join us.
Until next month, stay safe.
Digital (ish) Nomad