I began to walk along the path and took a deep breath. It was a lovely bright summer’s morning. There was not a cloud in the azure sky and the pink sunrise cast a pearlescent glow over everything it caressed. I closed my eyes for a moment and reached blindly for the scent in the air.
Whatever it was, it whisked me away to my kitchen and towards the vats of tomato sauce I was prone to make on a weekend without a plan. Then I recognised the wild oregano and thyme that were growing all around me. As I was stepping on them the scented oils were being released into the air around me.
As I stood looking down, the faintest of breezes made a serene, whispering sound as it travelled across the top of the long grass. I looked down the hill and noticed a narrow winding path that I had missed as I rushed past in the car. I looked around and decided to follow the trammelled pathway; I had my phone with me so I felt a burgeoning confidence.
I could see a lemon grove in the distance and decided to head for that. The sun was out now and I could feel its gentle warmth on my head. I took a deep breath and relaxed my shoulders. The scent of the lemons reached me first, sharp and pungent and utterly intoxicating.
Beyond the grove I could see the sea. The blue water was sparkling and shimmering with millions of diamond shapes. As I focused my attention on the lemons I could see that some of them were as big as a tennis ball. I leant forward and placed my warm face in amongst the light green leaves and breathed in the lemony air. I had never felt more alive.
My feet began to move easily down the path and I felt full in control of my downward journey. It was then I noticed the plume of colours amongst the green of the wild herbs and grasses. There were blue cornflowers to match the sea, startling red poppies and many varieties of pure white flowers that I did not know.
I Suddenly as I rounded a corner I juddered to a halt as I realised my feet were now lovely and warm. The path had finished and through my sandals I could sense the perfect white sand. I bent down to remove them and scooped up a handful of sand. I allowed the sharp, tiny grains to trickle through my fingers. I noticed with surprise that my finger nails were painted the same colour as the pink sunrise. I walked over to the shore and slowly followed the water’s edge allowing the cool water to lap against my free toes.
I stood for a moment and drank in the life energy that was all around me.
A delicious smell of coffee invaded my thoughts and I began to look up. There was a small beach café in the near distance. I quickened my step and soon arrived at the source of the coffee aroma. There were a few locals enjoying the early morning.
I recognised the lady at the counter as she waved at me. She ran the bakery in the village nearest to our villa. She picked up her order of olives and paté and signalled to ask if I wanted a lift with her back to the villa. I grabbed my coffee to go with a big smile of thanks.
I perched on the side of her bread delivery van and we began the tortuous, perpendicular climb. I began to feel a nibble of anxiety at the corner of my brain but firmly dismissed it. I climbed out, with wobbly knees, from the van and waved a cheery farewell to my companion. My adventure ended as I rounded the corner with an armful of fresh bread for our party. They were all around the table on the terrace and were cheered by the smell of the new bread to go with their breakfast.
My husband stared at me quizzically as he pulled out a chair for me, “I did not even realise you had gone out, I really thought that you were still in the shower.”
Extract from The Lotus Generation by Carole McCall due out December Ist 2014