Thinking of the Cyclades and Greece, a land which I carry in my heart

Thinking of the Cyclades and Greece, a land which I carry in my heart. It’s a wild and touching land where flowers happen to grow even among stones. That’s why I come back to Greece whenever I can, just like Ulysses to Ithaca. I come back to listen to the voice of the wind whispering in my ears and ruffling my hair. I come back to enjoy a primordial life style made of simple things, the only ones able to make life worth living after all. I come back to walk in a pristine place where people are kind and still able to stop for a while and take time for a conversation in the street. I come back to Greece as it is timeless. I come back to Greece cause there’s no rush here and life unfolds at a calm pace enabling me to truly observe nature all around. Plunging into the its primitive wilderness feels like absorbing the incredible strength of these plants, which struggle with everything it takes to ensure their own survival in a difficult yet astonishingly beautiful area. That’s why I observe Greek nature and get inspired by its vital force. Plants hold on to the rocks with all their might to withstand the wind, so as to tell us that life is the most precious thing that we have, even when everything seems to be taken for granted. Above all, Greek nature is a hymn to life, it is Life in and of itself indeed: this is what flowers and wild herbs teach me when I happen to come across them during my strolls between sea and sky. So, I observe the thyme with its intensely scented violet flowers, surrounded by the bees; the helichrysum stoechas whose yellow heads beam me up to one of these small Greek churches smelling like incense. Taking a walk in the Greek nature is a healing treatment for the soul, it’s an aroma therapy given for free, beneficial all through the winter time when memory will warm a heart whose fragments will have been dispersed in an evening sea looking like a silver shield. To me Greece is all of the above. And still, it is a place smelling beautiful and a place where tradition and nature teach me how to live in harmony with my life journey. That’s why I can keep on staring at the stars and the moon reflected on the sea for hours without saying a single word, waiting for the break of the dawn when a new day will grant me its gift: a child’s laughter or a tasty home-made recipe, like a savoury pie with wild fennel, which grows there where also the Critamo (crithmum marittimum) typically appears. Greece is sheer nature asking us to get back to it. Visiting Greece is a soul exploration enabling us to bring to light our wildest side, which we can grasp only by loving nature. By Patrizia Gaidano.