It’s that time of year when my heart aches to be back in my Marvelous City – Rio De Janeiro.
Growing up, I used to count down the weeks until my family could return to our home away from home. This was our sanctuary away from our busy life. A guarantee that we could spend time together relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. We would drink fresh juice and lay on the beach all day laughing about simpler things. The beaches of Rio were a polychromatic paradise encapsulating the carefree, festive lifestyle we all so desperately needed a taste of.
And so, Rio became a state of mind to me as much as a real place.
It is always a beautiful Sunday morning on the Copacabana beaches. The roads off the boardwalk trade their usual vehicle traffic for bikers, joggers, and tourists. All of them dressed scantily, kissed by the sun they bask in, and merrily meandering along the beach. Vacationers and locals alike converge to take advantage of the day before the heat settles in.
Samba music drifts over the sound of the waves crashing and beach goers as amateurs play on their drums and cuicas at the bars. The jaunty beat pair well with the constant ebb and flow of the ocean like fine wine over dinner. It is interrupted only by the occasional vendor strolling through announcing the food he offers.
The beach serenades you with white sands mirroring the sun shining brightly overhead. Colorful umbrellas are pitched every few meters to provide shade to their occupants. The cerulean blue water with its tides and foamy mist beckoning up the beach steadily. It sparkles with the promise of cool and refreshing fun.
Off in the distance, standing tall and impressive on the mountain, a silhouette of a man can be seen. It is the Christ statue looking over his marvelous city with arms wide open in love and invitation. A symbol of peace and a subtle reminder that this indeed is a small piece of heaven on Earth for us to enjoy.
Everyone is absorbed in their own little slice of paradise.
And I am soaking it all in. Even if just for a moment while the memory lingers.
Rio is my home.