A dream between the (h)earth and the sea

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photo by Celso Bettencourt

Maybe this is the first page of a travel diary. It will be an emotional tale of our impressions and feelings about the island’s life. Ocean called us a few months ago, and we had a lot of time to imagine how it would be here in Madeira. When we arrived everything we had thought about the island was not enough to describe what we felt.
What is Madeira? It is much more than an Island, more than a landscape and more than a pensioner’s holiday.
We can’t say what it is yet, but we can start telling what we discovered over a few days in this beautiful place. The idea is to offer to the people, who will read this page, pictures to share our experience in Madeira. Offer a sort of an art gallery in which you can read, see and feel.
Madeira is a perfect balance between the very deep blue of the sea and the dark brown, almost black, of its heights. It is a contrast between the heat of the sun and the salt water frost, not so salty. Is the fear to dive and it is the curiosity to discover the backdrop, where the island’s soul mocks the sunlight and shallows up the night in a peaceful embrace. From the sunrise until the twilight moon, you can’t sleep, but you can dream. Dream about the nature, the people and the language.
There is something mystical which you cannot see, hear… even just the air we breathe: the flowery sweetness, the secret garden like islands in the island… this all is a new and unknown world, but at same time already experienced. It is so strange!
All of us have an intimate place inside us, our own island to retreat to when there are too many thoughts in the hand, where you can feel at home, a safe space. Along the beach, on the top of the mountain, on the lips of the people you have the impression that you already saw and heard everything, but for you it is another world.
Madeira is a line from an obscure poem, written on three benches that guard the harbor: “se o sonho… que ama a terra… e descobre o mar”. You are a dream that love the earth and discover the sea. There’s a little window and an old woman looking out of it, a beautiful witch who lives with cats and prepares potion. Her voice, full of life, read solemnly what is written, like a spell; never tired, she can read for you one, two, three time until you don’t go away. So Madeira is an old child behind a door and she talks about herself.
You can’t explain who she is, but you know her name. She is called “saudade”.


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