This summer I had the wonderful opportunity to visit a part of Italy that I had never been to before. I have been to Italy many times and have lived there for two years, but had never been to Puglia, outside of stopping through as a teenager on my way to Greece during my “Grand Tour” of Europe as an intrepid backpacker, the trip which inculcated in me the wanderlust that has been with me ever since.
As such, this was like going to an entirely new country, though with several familiar aspects of Italy that I have grown accustomed to. In other words, it was going to the same place, which was not the same, and yet it was.
One of the highlights of the trip was that I was able to swim every day in the Adriatic Sea (and one day in the Ionian). Swimming has always been my meditation, a way of getting me unstuck from my daily grind. Although I am able to often let go in a mere swimming pool, there is no comparison to swimming amongst the waves (and, no matter how long a pool is, it is merely swimming in a circle, whereas when you swim out into the Sea, one direction will be with the waves, and the other against them, resulting in two very different experiences), against which you realize the futility of fighting them. You will never win against the power of the Sea or Ocean. I have learned that in my experiences, and it is an important lesson to learn. Some things are and will always be more powerful than we are. And, the sooner we learn that, and moreover accept that, the sooner we can be at peace with our limitations and then work within them, rather than be frustrated by not being able to transcend them. It is not an admission of failure, but rather one of surrender to powers that are greater than we are. It can be a liberating feeling if you allow it to be so.
Here are some pictures of the beautiful Salento region at night. Enjoy.