Las Canteras is made up of many smaller beaches. In fact, every rock and grain of sand makes up a different shore. Every wave sounds different depending on where you are. Las Canteras is like a Russian doll; it always has something new to surprise us with. This is beach of our homeland, our reference when we move away from the coasts where we grew up. It has the colour that we look for and the smell of seaweed that always guides us.
Every wave we watch as children is a lesson in metaphysics which goes beyond any philosophy. The same with every sandcastle that disappears with the high tide, proving our efforts against the laws of nature are in vain. We soon learn to understand the world on our beloved beach, regardless of how naive we seem. According to the poet, everything remains. When bad times arrive, we look back at all those waves, those eventful and uncertain lessons of ebb and flow that the ocean taught us from the time we could hear it from inside our mother’s womb.
I could be overly eloquent and tell you what we have learned from the beach with a thousand metaphors, but if we are true to its lessons, the first thing we should do is to forget any exaggerations and stick to the basics. That is, the wonderful simplicity that the beach gives us every day as we lie under the sun, feeling the breeze, watching our shadows on the shore and keeping our life in perspective.
Looking out to sea is never a waste of time. As we go into the water, we become part of every shore around the world. That is why in the sea we become universal and wise. And sceptical. Every step on the sand calms us, because for once we set foot in the world facing all the consequences.
Those who grow up watching the waves belong to the sea as much as octopuses and sea-horses. Far away from the water, inland, we become so gloomy and bad-tempered that we cannot even stand ourselves. We need to contemplate the sea; it does not really matter which one but, if we could choose, we would pick out one of the many beaches surrounding our island. We always want to come back to the same waves that taught us about life. We do not know how to explain them or how to put them into words but, by watching them, we hear their message. There is a magic here beyond ordinary everyday life. The waves have a reason for breaking; they remind us that we should make the most of life. That is why we shouldn’t move away from them; loss, just as death, arrives silently. Every morning of every day of the year, life is waiting for you on our beach. You just have to go down to the shore and walk barefoot along it.
Translation: Students from the 2nd Year 2008 at the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.