Skiathos at Dawn - by Mr. O

March 29, 2019

Skiathos at Dawn  -  by Mr. O

The sun has just come up and there is no fog in your head.

Before the pitter-patters and “I wants” pierce into your day, you slip into your swimsuit, gather your mask and snorkel, and sneak to the beach below. The small cove is calm, not even the seagulls are awake.

The sea has its usual dawn-dusk stillness. Barely a ripple as it silently comes to shore and glides back out. You put your shirt and towel on a nearby boulder and step into the chilly water. It’s not cold but without the sun’s rays fully working, you know it will take you a minute to get used to it. You look at your watch out of habit, realizing time is not important.

It starts with a jolt but gradually your heart tells you that you are going to be just fine. The silver fish are slithering between the rocks, the urchins are motionless and the colors underwater are starting to get brighter.

The sea is perfect and your strokes are steady. In a patch of sand between two large stone masses, you notice a greenish sea plant of some sort, lazily swaying back and forth with the current. You’re now directly above it and strangely, the plant turns the color of sand, shaping itself into a flat oval that – if it wasn’t for your knowing of its existence – you would not have seen. You hold your breath and dive down to it. As you do, it turns dark and grows some spots. And before you know it, you see its eyes, its tentacles, then it darts away like - well, a dart. Nice cuttlefish. About the size of a grown man’s shoe.

What’s the point of a cuttlefish? How did it come to be? It’s an absurd creature. Camouflaging its way through an aquatic life, praying on critters and hiding from predators. And the sea urchin, what’s it for? Spiked, poisonous, dangerous. Who is the man that thought of cracking it open, squeezing a lemon and eating its orange innards? Similarly absurd.

An hour or so passes like this, then you find yourself back on the shore. Towel stretched on the sand, you lay on your back and close your eyes. The sun warms you instantly and you catch your breath. It’s still early. There’s a full day ahead of you.

Time to head back up. Your coffee awaits.

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