First light in Luz, Portugal

First light on the beach in Luz, Portugal © Janet Gyenes
The force of nature brings rapture and solitude to a deserted stretch of beach

A sliver of sunlight squeezed through a crack in the curtains, drawing a design on the floor of the condo in Luz. The name of this beachfront town stretched along Portugal’s Algarve coast translates to “light.”

And something about this early-morning beam felt out of the ordinary. Instead of signalling that it was time to draw the covers closer and block the glow, this beacon compelled me to toss them off and crawl out of bed. Standing on the balcony overlooking the beach, it quickly became clear what powerful pull of nature had roused me from my slumber.

There is a rapture on the lonely shore

The beach’s billion grains of sand were bathed in burnt orange and lilac light, palm trees’ frilly fronds still silhouetted against the awakening sky. As Byron wrote, “There is a rapture on the lonely shore.” And the ocean has a rhythm—the unbreakable bond of time and tide. Today, it was calling me closer. I grabbed my camera and stole away to the sea, barefoot. The sand was still cool under my toes as I walked strolled the shore, in thrall to the force of nature. Φ

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