I took today’s picture when I was at the sea one last time during the summer. Well, it was September already, but it felt like summer. When do you get to wear shorts in September? When do you get to wear shorts in the Netherlands – period? I will remember that day as one of my favourite days in the year. I love the space, the wide open space and the fresh, salty air. Fine sand between your toes and in your food. No allergies, just clean air, blue skies and a calm sea.

Last week I flew across Egypt and the Mediterranean see. It was a pretty clear day and I could see all the Greek islands in a calm and blue sea. Even though I really didn’t want to be on that particular flight. I realized how lucky I am for being born with access to a Schengen passport. The Mediterranean see seemed so harmless and calm. Just like it was that day in the early spring of Barcelona a long while ago.

Yet the sea is not just a calm friend to me anymore. Because every time I open the news, it tells me that more lives have been taken by the sea. There is no way I can imagine the suffering of innocent people that are only trying to look for safety and security. 9 of out 10 don’t make it to the other side. Only 1 out of the 10 reaches Europe. It’s not all happiness and smooth sailing from there on either.

I don’t have the solutions. I don’t have the political means to change it all. Yet I can demonstrate compassion. I can pray. I can keep my eyes up. Read about it. Give voices the voices that were silenced on the sea. Be grateful that I don’t have to know what it is like to hopelessly drift into a deep, cold grave of salty water and waves.