Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Frozen in Amber: Propriano

To say we "enjoyed" our ride yesterday across southern Corsica would be a stretch, but it was certainly a beautiful one. (It would have been more enjoyable had it not been so hot.) The mountain and seascape vistas were stunning. We weren't in Sardinia anymore.

One of our guides, Isacco, takes pictures of riders as they
roll in to our morning break spot

Our destination was Propriano. I wrote yesterday that Mark and I had stayed in the same hotel here five years ago when we did our Corsican cycling tour. I was looking forward to being here again, having a rendezvous with the memories we made here then - eating dinner in the same place, sitting on the chairs were our group had sat five years ago watching the sun set over the bay.

But what I found was that everything seemed different. I couldn't find where we had eaten then, nor could I find the spot where we had watched the sun set. Nor could I feel what I guess I had hoped to feel - Mark's presence. The realization gradually dawned on me - again - of what I wrote several weeks ago: "That time, along with all of the emotions, love and memories that are associated with it, are sealed in amber; preserved; never to be forgotten ... but, alas, never again to be lived."

The beach below our hotel

View from our dinner table yesterday evening across the bay to Propriano

What was lived yesterday was the present. I enjoyed swimming in the bay, relaxing on a chaise lounge, reading my book and even taking a snooze. I enjoyed having dinner with the group I am now with, creating new memories. And I enjoyed - and was touched by - the fact that everyone wanted to participate in limoncello shots (because I had told them about doing this five years ago when we were here). I was touched that our guides went to the trouble of going out and buying a bottle of Corsican limoncello and shot glasses so that we wouldn't have to pay exorbitant prices to the hotel. And I enjoyed sharing this experience with my new friends. It was a lot of fun and very memorable. (And I even feel fine this morning.)

I did take some time at cocktail hour to go down by myself and have a gin and tonic in Mark's memory in this special spot. I wish I could say that I felt his presence. But I know he has gone on. And I am left with memories ... which is no small thing.

1 comment: