Ustica, a small island off the northern coast of Sicily, opposite Palermo has the ability to transport you to as simple a life as you could imagine.
During the year, there are about 1000 inhabitants. In the summer, it’s another story. Ustica lines transports many people every summer from Sicily.
Because I have the good fortune of knowing people who know people, my time in Ustica was a rebirth. Because we are talking volcanic islands, all of Sicily and the Islands surrounding her have “grotte” (caves).
While being given a tour by a local fisherman, who is a friend of my friends’, we motored a small fishing boat into ‘una grotta.’
The water within this grotta was crystal clear. Depending on the time of day and how much light was entering the grotta, there were many illusions – water depth, water movement, and the sounds within made me listen differently.
I dove from the side of this small fishing boat into the water and asked my friend for ‘le piedi dei pisci’.
Roaring laughter came from those on this small fishing boat.
With those words, I was really asking for fins with which to swim, but I didn’t know the word, so I asked for “the feet of the fish.” Maybe I was channeling Dr. Seuss at the time!
Although we were in the grotta and very close to the island, the depth of the sea was indeterminable.
If ever there was a time for a rebirth, this is it.
In a rocky womb of this simple, pure island and there is nowhere to go but out to the wide open sea – which is exactly what I did.
I started swimming out of the grotta into the wide open spaces hearing the words of the fisherman and my friend, but ignoring them.
I wanted to be born again of this land and this sea.
Wanted the awareness this time – that it was my choice to be born again – in anticipation of all the experiences that will come my way.