Mediterranean Surprise

Mediterranean Surprise

”You are my star.”

”What are you talking about?” I asked, smiling at the man I have decided to spend the rest of my life with.

Our wedding is five months away. It will be a traditional Punjabi affair complete with religious rituals that involve turmeric and fresh buffalo milk. But that is far from my mind now. At this moment I am more concerned with staying afloat in the water. 

At the crack of dawn, we got in a friend’s car and drove down to Monaco. It is a short day trip from our home in the hills of Piedmont. As you escape our little town,  green valleys give way to slopes with rows of grape vines – a great reminder of the many wines that grow in our region.

We focus on the road and pass tunnel after tunnel awaiting the moment we drive into Liguria, the northern Italian region that kisses the Mediterranean Sea. A small round of applause announces our descent into the seaside region. Slowly, lush mountains give way to desert-like hills replete with olive trees. I have driven this route many times before but never noticed the olive groves. I am grateful for not being at the wheel so I can feast my eyes on my surroundings. The olive trees are completely visible from the highway, their elongated oval leaves seem to embrace the branches. It is easy to imagine the farmers harvesting the olives before your eyes.

We spot the Mediterranean Sea. I take a deep breath and give thanks for the magnificent view which I never take for granted. I love the sea and miss my old apartment in Miami, which provided many fond memories of sandy feet and hot weather. But the Mediterranean waters are different. They are not the emerald or turquoise of the Miami shore. No, these waters are a dark blue and vibrant. Waves crash onto a bed of smooth dark stones. They seem to reflect the intrigue of whatever mystery lies deep below. 

I reflect upon this thought as I submerge myself in the water. It’s cold but I know it is only a matter of minutes until my body adapts. In the meantime, I am talking to the Man who is warning me not to swim too far.

”Amore, the tide is strong. Please, be careful.”

My smile is a dead giveaway of my intentions to swim further out so he proceeds to join me. He deters me with a hug in the water. We take in the summer heat and allow the memory of the moment to take shape. It’s our first dip in the sea together and we want to make the moment last. 

I slip away from his loving arms and swim. The water dances around my skin as I stay afloat enjoying the moment of peace and a feeling of weightlessness. Finally, everything feels good to me. This moment, where I am in life, who I am with. All I feel is love.

”Amore, come back.”

I swim back to my love who patiently waits for me as I glide through the dark blue sea. The sun is in his eyes so we face the other way towards a jetty crowded with fishermen and women in bikinis. I feel a rush of emotion, almost nervousness. But I don’t know why. 

”Amore, you are my star. My queen.”

Amooooreeeee, I say while marveling at his sweetness. He finds my hands in the water and faces me.

”Amore, will you marry me?”

Oh…that was the nervousness I had tapped into. I smile and say: ”yes, Yes, YES!”

A kiss seals the deal (again). The first time he proposed to me we were on a rooftop in India. Now, the Mediterranean Sea hugs our bodies.  He has proposed many times in between. When I ask him why, he takes a minute to respond.

”Because I want to marry you again in the next life, and the life after, and the life after that…”

Minutes after the proposal

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