There are places and then there are other places. Those that make me dream and others that set my imagination on fire. And, finally, there are the places where I lose myself - lose myself in the world of what used to be. Just a few miles away from our house, a chapel clings precariously to the edge of a cliff. It seems to defy both gravity and the roaring north-westerly winds that fling themselves at the carmine-coloured dome, all the while screeching like demented banshees.
My soul soars free here and my heartbeat slows down, till it seems to be beating to the ebb and flow of time itself. Yesterday, today and tomorrow seem to be incomprehensible concepts in this forgotten spot. It's not so much a sense that time has stood still, as the fierce realisation that we are the only ones that mourn its passing.
The silence speaks volumes here. It whispers sweet nothings about the chirps of sparrows and robins; the crazy screeching of cicadas drunk on the August heat. The air is heavy, pungent with the heady scents of nature - the salty tang of the sea; the earthy smell of freshly ploughed soil. There's a feeling of wholesomeness here; an aura of innocence; maybe even a glimpse of that Eden that I think we are all trying to find - in our own way and in our own time.
My parents used to bring me here as a child and our 'wanderings' often bring us to the brink of the cliff. To my eyes, nothing has changed. The scene is the same today as it was when I was six years old. This is one of my secret places. There are others, scattered around the island but they have become few and far between, which makes the ones that are still left all the more precious. I fervently hope that they will remain unchanged; ephemeral throwbacks to an unknown time, even though it probably takes dreamers like me to appreciate them exactly as they are - steadfast in the face of a world in turmoil.
Location: Mtahleb, November 2015