At last, I am back on Paros. Italy was lovely, inspiring and worth every second, but as the Aegean flight arced around to land in Athens I breathed a sigh of joy–back in Greece at last!
I have spent the last two days assisting the staff in opening up the school. I have been sweeping, vacuuming and mopping the darkroom, washing out trays and I have made a fresh batch of Fix. I will wait to make the other chemistry until Sunday or even Monday. I have printed out a fresh batch of darkroom schedule sheets and straightened out the desk area for ease of use. The restroom is well-supplied and I have made sure the window is light-tight. Kala! Polikala!
The rest of the students arrive tomorrow from their 3-day visit to Athens and from what I have heard they have had a wonderful time in that ancient and complex city, so different from Rome, Florence and Pistoia. They will be excited to see the island, I am sure. I know that I was, and still am, to be honest. There is nothing like the adventure of sea travel and being able to say, “land ho!”, if only in you heart.
It was a huge relief to unpack my bags and put away my belongings. I was growing tired of living out of my suitcase, so to speak. As much as I adore travel, there is nothing quite so satisfying as coming home. I guess I cannot say much more than that. The weather is lovely and when I haven’t been working at the school, doing laundry or putting away my travel gear I have spent some time at the beach and swimming. The water is perfect and the weather has been hot but not the unbearable oven that was August. I have no food in my flat so I still have to go shopping but that lack of food at home has been a good excuse for eating out. I have missed Greek food. Yes, the Italians have some good grub, known the world over, but they seem to have missed out on something that Greece excels at. I haven’t been able to put my finger on it, but there is a soul-fulfilling aspect to Greek food. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s my soul. Maybe I have been here before. Maybe I have never left.
Tonight the neighborhood around Mikro Cafe is bustling with early evening energy. Families out for a stroll, conversations on the doorsteps, and fundraising bazaars full of eager shoppers. What a place I have found! Not that this path hasn’t been walked before, but it feels right to me.