I'm just back from holidays. I've been in an island, right by the beach: an earthly paradise.
If you are anything like me, you are visualizing palm-trees, huge flowers that smell like suntan lotion, colorful birds, even.
Stop right there.
I've been in Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands. And imagine my surprise when the plane started flying above... a floating ashtray.
It's a volcanic island, constantly brushed by wind.
There is NOTHING. Just black stones (they call it malpaís -bad land-), white sand and the occasional spiky bush or lichens. And oh, the water is COLD. Freezing.
I had never been anywhere like it, and in my geographical innocence / ignorance, I had no idea that's what I was going to encounter.
But I quickly realized something:
paradise is a state of mind.
I found myself on the beach, with my husband - at sunset, often alone. The sand was immaculate, the beach was pristine. Seagulls strolled by the ocean. There were tiny crabs and plenty of fishes. And we had a whole week to just be.
I found again the me that can read more than a book a day.
It was divine.
Apparently... you don't need exotic flora to be in heaven, just... time to think and be. And the right mind to appreciate it.
Which makes me think that, if I keep investigating, I might end up discovering I don't even need a beach, or tropical heat. Maybe, only maybe, you don't even need to be on holidays to be in heaven. Maybe paradise is happy place somewhere deep inside. Ask me when the Belgian winter hits.
If you want to reach out, I'm my most efficient communicator on Instagram - come say hi!