The horizon always connects me with myself through that line that separates the sky from the sea and that is impossible to reach. I remember the first time that, as a child, I became aware that no matter how much we sailed towards that line, we would not be able to defeat the distance that separated us from it.
I returned to San Sebastian in search of those childhood summers, in search of myself and wanting to know my past better. I walked around the port where I had spent so many summer afternoons while my grandfather Manuel would finish checking the moorings, taking a look at the state of the bollards, and clearing the gangway to the boats.
It was there, when he was about twenty years old, that he first saw Lucretia, the emblematic Dutch sailing ship built in 1927 and designed by the prestigious naval architect G. De Vries Lentsch Jr. with the intention of gifting the sea breeze to the daughter of her first owner, coming into the port.
On board was Lucretia herself, a tall, imposing, young woman, who in his eyes had an exotic beauty about her. Never had he seen a face with such sweet features and such a disposition at the same time. The two fell in love and the sailboat dropped anchor.
“I step foot on deck after a couple of decades and find myself trying to tie up the loose ends of my past”.
When I was no more than ten years old, they were both very old. The sailboat was a lot of work and my parents could not afford it, so they sold it to a French family who lived on it for seven years. It was later when she came into the hands of Edgar and Amuaitz, her current owners. It was not difficult to find them. This city is a beautiful, sophisticated, and endearing place where almost everyone still knows each other, and they are expert skippers with a passion for the sea.
I go down to the port, finding myself in my grandparents’ story – and in my own – at every step: on the stairs where we often went for a dip, in the wind at the end of the walkway. I notice how my hair curls and moves with the shape of the waves.
Dressed in my favourite Weekend Max Mara garments, I feel the salt caress my shirt while my skirt performs a contemporary dance. I take off my shoes to feel how my feet gradually take root again and in the distance I see Lucretia approaching.
“As soon as I take the helm, all the fears, all the doubts, fade into the distance”.
I step foot on deck after a couple of decades and find myself trying to tie up the loose ends of my past. In the cabin I see the black and white photo of my grandmother, still a child, with her family, whose frame has not been taken down in all this time.
I still have many unanswered questions, such as what G. De Vries Lentsch Jr.’s intentions were in giving the boat to my grandmother or why she had anchored in San Sebastian. But as soon as I take the helm, all the fears, all the doubts, fade into the distance. Seeing myself at the controls of the boat makes me believe in myself. It makes me feel that anything is possible. That I can go wherever I want, even beyond the horizon.