“Suffering had merely tempered his heart…”

The sun cast its radiant glow over the blue water lapping against the sandstone walls. A lone man selling sea sponges on a boat gently bobbed in the water. From early morning to late afternoon, he would ply his trade. Despite rarely selling his wares, he was blessed with a radiant smile full of joy. I was drawn to this man with whom I struck up a friendship. Our talks revealed a life born of fortitude amidst adversity, yet filled with joy and amazing warmth. Suffering had merely tempered his heart, and in this man I sensed a deep sense of humility and serenity despite hardship. Never before had I experienced such hospitality. One day, in silent awe I looked at this man with love and said “God bless you in all things, and may you always find refuge in Him”. He responded with a sad but warm smile of conviction. “And that’s the greatest gift that one can ever wish for in life”

“Pausing, I admired its simplistic and elegant beauty”

Climbing up a narrow cobblestone street towards the summit, the thought of exploring the unknown treasures of the island stirred my heart with childlike enthusiasm. Walking along the cliff face, overlooking the ocean, almost hidden, a stone building with white washed walls and blue staircase caught my attention. Pausing, I admired its simplistic and elegant beauty.