Ou uma história que meus netos não vão acreditar que vivi!
Beauty reveals itself when you are not expecting it. Exactly one year ago, I experienced one of the most overwhelming moments of my life. Back in Brazil, I had the privileged to live in a region full of wonders and I decided to spend a day in a small village called Regência – ES: it is a very humble community, where streets are unpaved and houses are plain; where the river meets the sea. This is an environment-protected area and I wanted to attend the birth of a rare species of turtles. By the end of the day, the turtles left their nest and it was an impressive event. I felt honored to see this spectacle of life and I did not want to leave the beach. I thought I had seen all the surprises that the world could offer me in one day, but this was just the beginning. This place echoed peace: a desert beach, blue skies, the salty breeze and the calm rhythm of the waves. Suddenly, I started to hear the sound of different birds and I knew that I should keep walking the coast. My boyfriend followed me until we saw a band of birds arriving. I was stunned! I had never seen so many birds together at once – an unheralded event. My boyfriend suggested, then, that we stopped right there to appreciate this moment. Hundreds of birds were profiting of a sandbank next to the beach: a collective gathering for food and sun. The skies turned multicolored and I started to feel hypnotized towards that gold sandbank; although we were very comfortable under an improvised tent of coconut leaves, the sea seemed so inviting and I could not resist - I had to swim in that direction. It was the first time that I felt such an impulse; I could not explain, I just warned my boyfriend: “I’m going to swim until I arrive in that sandbank! If you don’t wanna go, you can stay there and watch me!” he replied, “Are you sure? I don’t see the point, we didn’t even bring a towel, let’s observe the sunset from here” I said, “I have never been so sure – the water is so nice and warm!” - my point of view always is “why not?”. For some reason, he noticed that the sea was getting more agitated, while everything seemed easy for me – a strong will took control over me and I would not be satisfied until I accomplished that goal. Nevertheless, I am not a swimmer. In the past, I feared swimming in the sea. Hence, it was quite different to experience this urge beyond risks. Few minutes later, I was astonished that my boyfriend changed his mind and entered into the water too. Then, I felt very confident - I was even swimming backstroke, but I started to realize that the sandbank was not as close as I first imagined. As further we went, further it seemed to get. I thought, “nothing is wrong, he is a great swimmer and we know what we are doing” until the moment that he grabbed me and said, “crawl harder”. The sea current was strong enough to carry me and we could not easily reach the sandbank; what it was supposed to be a ten-minute swim became a never-ending journey, aiming a place that seemed to be “running away” from us. It was a point of no return; turning back was not a possibility – we would not give up and it would be more dangerous to change the track in the middle of the sea. The only option was to keep swimming the fastest we could. Finally, we managed to arrive at our destination – on time to see a marvelous pink sky sunset and… a “pororoca”. Pororoca is an indigenous word to describe the encounter of waters – the river and the sea becoming one. I was paralyzed - the force of nature was awe-inspiring. The birds stopped flying and were singing by our side in the sandbank. I could not believe my eyes, in fact, I only know what I felt it. It was overpowering to comprehend that we were swimming when the rhythm of the sea changed completely; it was peculiar to watch one of the greatest nature’s phenomenon standing on the sea. I was a part of this transcendent beauty, in startling admiration. For one eternal instant, I felt completely integrated with nature. I felt that I was part of something bigger and incredible. As the wind intertwined with my long and salty hair, I have never felt so beautiful or fulfilled in my life. I wanted to shout my inner happiness and gratitude to the world. I wish I could stay there forever! However, this was half of the quest. In fact, whilst stunned with such magnificence, I could also see that we were already in the middle of the ocean. My boyfriend precisely said, “we cannot stay here; we must run”. Run to the other side of the sandbank before the sand dissolved into the sea was our only chance to get back to the beach. As we were in open-water, far away from the shore, we needed to choose the shortest path to swim – and this included passing through the bird’s band and… the pororoca. I never felt such a rush of adrenaline in my body before, literally “run and swim for your life” to surpass this challenge. I would be dreadfully afraid if my boyfriend were not by myside. In that moment, we shared a bond of trust among the nature and ourselves. What was supposed to be a simple attempt to appreciate beauty, turned out to be an extreme adventure with unexpected emotions. Beneath the moon, that night, we were the sea. Navy-blue waves showed me that humans are too small to defy nature. This scenery happens at Rio Doce, tragically devastated by the biggest environmental disaster that Brazil has ever seen (Samarco’s Toxic mine mud) and I share this memory to honor how much beauty and life is now lost: