Arrived on the island of Paros May 8th, my body got here, but my mind was still connected and fragmented by transitions and the fear of unknowing. It was as if there were holes or disconnects that I was not aware of. Like this plan is not clear enough to pull off and now I would be out of control in any normal sense. Transitioning from one culture to another; carrying only a credit card, cell phone and one suitcase will make you feel out of control. Vulnerability always comes with the unexpected. Not that you can prevent any of it, but it is nice to roll with the situation when you can. The mind says, “Let go and let God.” I remember Saint Augustine said it as well adding, how hard that is to surrender.
So, When all the turbulence settled and life took on a rhythm, it was wonderful.
We sit on the wall and have coffee each morning with the mountains. In 4 weeks, a field changes its color, texture and light. New flowers appear and then fade, the heights of plants change. Time is magnificent, it readjusts and transforms everything without our permission.
I swim every day, with a choice of 2 beaches, each just a 5 minute walk away. The first month not a soul walked on either of them, the water is crystal clear and the solitude even better. Along the footpath I see farmers and evidence of their work and laziness. There are goats, sheep, chickens and some barking dogs. One field has a spread of golden wheat and a burro standing everyday all day long still as stone.
You cannot help but see cats. Greece is famous for them, and with good reason they are everywhere, in every color, shape and size. They too are like time. These cats need no permission or maintenance. They exist and reproduce without prompting. Just to walk on a path every day, I notice subtle and beautiful transformations that are of no importance, hardly worth mentioning. My mind repeats “Let go and let God.”
Our food supply is repetitive but delicious.
Yogurt you can almost stand on, lots of Feta cheese, carrots, apples, zucchini, eggplant, instant coffee, olives, onions, tomatoes and cucumber. White wine, and Ouzo have replaced our habitual Tequila. How many ways can you combine those ingredients? Like those cats, our food seems to come with a pallet of prescribed flavors and combinations. This regiment of repetition is not boring in any way. The mind slows down to a slight humm where everything seems to be enough, we eat with simple gratitude. It is all very healthy.
Our tiny cheese house, is so small. Three steps from the bed to kitchen sink or, if you need, three other steps to the toilet. It is charming, with thick rock walls covered with plaster and wood beams that stretch catty corner to joist the roof. Two beautiful windows open out to a grape vineyard and olive trees. Yanni, the owner, keeps the complex in impeccable condition.
He gives us the olive oil and we buy his wine. His garden is like no other. Mulberries are in season they are an inch long. He has cherries, misparos, apricots, eggplant, tomatoes, lettuce and capers. Existing at the end of the road, the whole place has a quality that feels like an ancient island paradise. Marina, his wife, brings us scrumptious food. Moussaka, stuffed zucchini, giant beans, candied figs, lemon marmalade, and cookies. I bring her mulberries, lemons, flowers, and small watercolor paintings I have done in their garden. I woke last night 3 am and stepped outside into the field. The moon was three quarter and bright orange sitting on the horizon over the water!
We walk to the mountain for a sunset or down to the beach at dawn with our coffee in a thermos. The air is beautiful; the temperature is about 80. Mediterranean water changes color and texture all day long, it can be gentle swells or flat as glass. I did a tiny watercolor of three walking horses in the morning.
It has been 4 weeks and we are at peace. Settled into a natural rhythm in keeping with “Let go and let God.” It is pure luxury to get off, get away, get still and live and watch life flow and change. It may seem boring, but there is so much to witness without commentary.
Glorious Peace, blessed to be here now.