Sunday, May 01, 2005

Where Threads of Gold Shine in the Night

It's 20h50, and the phone starts ringing. I hate the phone, I truly do.

Spitting out a curse, I reluctantly go to pick up the fucking thing. In the privacy of my rather pissed-off mind, I wonder who has the gall to call me on a Sunday evening. Just as my dull, reflex welcome sentence fades, the sound of music registers in my mind.
And people's voices.
They're singing.

Two thousand miles away, on a small island of the dodecannese, Easter is being celebrated in the village of Olymbos. The women have donned their most beautiful, colorful dresses--ancient clothes that belong to a centuries-old tradition. Above the dresses and the aprons, they wear coins of pure gold, threaded and woven with the costumes' delicate fabrics.

Night has fallen there.
The moon is glittering over the sea, its white light challenged by the happy fires of a small village set atop the cliff.
Challenged by the warmth of voices singing.
Challenged by glimmers of gold as women dance in the village's central tavern.

It's dad on the phone, and he remains silent, allowing me to listen to the faraway songs and music for a few, infinitely precious moments--allowing me to share the warmth and the celebration, all the way on the other side of Europe. It's magic, a priceless gift.

I listen.
I feel the vibrations of voices and music.
I close my eyes.
I can see the tavern, I remember it from my visit, all those years ago.
I can see the musicians and the dancers at the center of the taproom.
I can see the walls and the windows, and the night outside.
I can see the wood and straw chairs.
The bouzouki resting on the men's thighs.

I'm happy.

It's moments like these that make living a wonderful thing. It's moments like these which warm your soul and allow you to regain strength to face tomorrow.

On a small island of the Dodecannese, they're celebrating Easter. The village's name is Olymbos. The island is Karpathos.

Thank you, Dad. Thank you, Mom. I love you.

In Greece, when a child is baptized, at the heart of the orthodox rite, his godmother presents him to the Four Winds and requests the protection of the Four Elements for her godson. It's Easter in Greece, in Karpathos, and the moon watches over the celebration in Olymbos.

Over the sky and below the Aegean Sea, the ancient gods are smiling.

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