Cold Sands

My shoes are already a pair of tiny dark spots in the seashore's immensity. They stay waiting the return of my bare feet, totally chilled by the winter's wind.

I left them behind with sorrow, and footprint after footprint they stayed there like abandoned cubs.

I'll come later – I told them – and together we will come back home: a shake to take off the sand for you both, and a warm shower for me.

But the sand that you will carry from this travel will not have the warming touch of the holidays, it will not be the sand that invited us to lay down on it, that sand which generously received us to collect the anxieties accumulated during eleven months, it won't be the sand that each summer turns into the biggest and most shared bed.

No, - I explained to my speechless shoes, which now seemed to be two black ears – no, this will be sands only visited by seagulls and treasures' searchers, lonely beings finding lonely objects: millennial stones polished by each and every sea, little seashells that call us with a iridescent wink or soft twigs worn for so much rolling along the edge of the world.

Today we will carry home cold sands. And if we are lucky enough, if suddenly the light is precisely where one less expects it to be and if the eye and the soul secretly agree we will also carry home some photographic images to patiently prepare them in the reddish penumbra of the darkroom like a delicate dish, for offering them later to our old and new friends.

The coastal wind was blowing loud and keen like a wagging laugh.

And it was understandable: not every day it is possible to find a barefoot but formally dressed man with a camera and a tripod hanging from his shoulder, talking to his shoes on a desert beach.

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