Walking on diamonds

A written piece by Oriana Burton 

It was 20:27pm.


We were walking along the beach in Fuseta, feet sinking into the soaked shore. The sand behaved oxymoronically being both as soft and fluffy as pancake batter, as well as infiltrated by the roughness of sharp twigs, colourless shells and baby crabs that inhabited its dampness. The same colour as golden jewels, the shore was living proof of the common expression, “looks are deceiving”.

He took me to the other side of the ria, told me to take my sandals off after which I immersed my delicate, pale toes into the darker sand. I dug my feet in deeper and then sloshed the shallow water around, dirtying the white sun dress that I was still wearing from that afternoon, with globs of wet sand. Then, suddenly, the sand started to glow.
Shells shined like tiny gems as the plankton unexpectedly glistened from under theshore, breathing life into the entire beachfront.

That moment, along with the shore itself, felt alarmingly endless. The shore has neither limitations nor inhibitions. It is possibly the one and only thing that is allowed to remain endless in this world. Everything else must end, perish or disappear. Yet, the shore persists. Its sand encompasses the weight and feelings of each and every person that has scarred it with their footprints. Yet, the shore welcomes them in to share their sequences of endless moments enabling them to let go of their past, to sink deeper into its boundless and immeasurable grandeur and to empathetically live in the moment.


“It’s like we are walking on diamonds” he said, interrupting my focused thoughts, with the enthusiastic exhilaration of a young child who has just discovered the last biscuit at the bottom of a cookie jar.

In that moment, it really felt like we were walking on diamonds. “To walk on diamonds in life” became my motto, my driving force. I once read that the Japanese often speak of Yūgen, which is described as “an awareness of the Universe that triggers emotional responses too deep for words.”


Fuseta, and all its diamonds, were my Yūgen.