The Black Sea gave me a fitting farewell on our last day in Georgia. Batumi, where we spent the last day, is a great little city on the Black Sea coast. I went to the beach – with dark sand and small rounded black rocks underfoot. The was a storm on, and wave after wave rolled onto the shore. Looking out at the gray sky and the blue-brown sea it looked like it was boiling, and would certainly be treacherous to swim. Still, my desire to wet my feet with the Black Sea was strong, and what harm could come from just getting to the edge of the seemingly tame ebb and flow of the waves’ edge on the black-rock beach?
I took off my shoes and socks, put down my backpack, and rolled up my jeans. The water felt great, so I walked in a little more, getting most of my feet wet when the wave completed it’s journey and folded over itself up the beach, gently splashing between my toes and pulling the sand away beneath my feet as it rescinded back to the mother that birthed it. It was delightful, looking out unto the sea and fantasizing about Jason coming to just about this same spot with the Argonauts, in search of the Golden Fleece. I turned to get a picture of the coast, and when I looked back outward, I saw a formidable swell approaching. It took me a little too long to realize how close that swell was. It took me a little too much longer to realize it was going to crash where I was standing.
I turned and ran. I did manage to get away from the crash of the crest, but was not far enough to avoid getting myself and my clothes completely soaked by the spray and froth. It was a shocking delight to be bested by the Sea. As the surge up the shore enveloped my ankles, it reached my shoes and turned them into tiny Argo’s – I imagined them in search of tiny Golden Fleeces as I scoped them out of the frothy water. I picked up my partially submerged backpack as I made my way out of the thrilling Black bathing.
What a great way to end the journey and start the travels home (after a shower and an excellent Ukrainian meal, that is). Thank you to all the people who were are part of this fantastic voyage – Sophia, Sasha, Fazil, all the therapy training workshop participants, the business workshop participants, the hotel staff, waiters, taxi drivers, train operators, and on. Thank you Steven for making it all possible, for being such a force that people will fly from other eastern nations to see you in Georgia.
Georgia, thank you. Black Sea, thank you.