A year ago, we were driving back to my in-laws’ when we decided to stop in the little town of La Grange, Missouri. There, on the banks of the legendary Mississippi, we said good-bye to 2011. The sun was setting and the river water was still. It was a curiously mild evening and the only sound we could hear was the gravel crunching under our feet.
From that day to this, I’ve discovered a bit more of the world and a lot more about myself. It is, perhaps, a well-known fact that the older we grow, the more comfortable we are in our own skins. This year I decided that I would sugar-coat my words less, and perhaps I’ve stepped on a few toes here and there when doing so, but I have felt better for being true to myself. No more needless anxiety about unvoiced opinions.
On a less personal level, we were able to do something which we really love to do, which is travelling. As I said, we started the year in Missouri. In May we went to Sicily for a brief visit to our northern neighbour. I was struck by the similarities between the two islands but then, I should not have been so surprised. We shared a common history for hundreds of years after all. Seeing Sicily through the eyes of an adult was also an eye-opening experience.
Another trip, in July, took us to the land of castles, cliffs and coves – Cornwall was a wonderful experience that I will not forget too soon. I have a strange habit of falling in love with places and leaving a little fragment of my heart behind. Thankfully, there always seems to be a piece of my heart left to leave in one place or another.
This year we will be bidding farewell to 2012 here at home, on the shores of the Mediterranean. The weather is mild, the water is calm and, across the harbour, the golden silhouettes of Fort St Elmo and Senglea Point are reflected in the sea below. If is a moment of reflection about the year that is fleeing away and the new one that is on the threshold. In the east, 2013 has been welcomed with fireworks and jubilant cheering. Over here, a few hours of reflection about the past and the future remain. As the dying year ebbs away, I wish you all a wonderful 2013 filled with love, peace, joy and, above all, health.
Location: The Mississippi River, La Grange (MO);
Senglea Point & Fort St Angelo from the Valletta Waterfront