Lilly climbed the narrow steps carefully as she balanced the few bags she now owned. She had mastered her balance as she had climbed them repeatedly during the two-day journey from Athens to Greece, but the last thing she needed was a fall harder than the one her heart had already taken. The lightness of her load now was a stark comparison when measured against the multitudes of things she used to carry.
As her head rose above the deck, the smell of the salt air drifted around her and settled in beside her, as if welcoming her home. She laid her bags on the bench seat and walked toward the stern as the Moya pulled into a cove of crystal blue water. Now, all that separated her from a life she never imagined was a set of lightweight chains across the steps that would lead her to her first step on the beach that Paul walked after a hurricane. How fitting. She smiled to herself as she noticed the chains were hanging in the shape of a cross.
She pulled the worn slip of aqua paper that still held her mother’s last words from her pocket and read it for the thousandth time. Whenever life brings you rain, water the earth and flowers. The words were almost prophetic. She returned her gaze to the beach, took in a deep breath, and released it with the pain of the last year as she welcomed the journey of a new home.