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.