There’s a beautiful turn of phrase in the Greek language that I adore. When someone in our village didn’t recognize me, they didn’t ask, “Who are you?”Instead, they inquired, “Whose are you?”
The question literally asks, “To whom do you belong?” To me, this evokes the essence of family, of lineage, and of continuity.
In Parori, outside Sparta, where my mother and grandmother were born, I answer by saying I’m the granddaughter of Demetrios and Gianoula Bahaviolos.
To interact with people who knew them, despite them having passed away more than 20 years ago, is like time travel. I feel physically closer to them here and I imagine their proud smiles as they watch us walk through the gates.
The sentimental value isn’t in loving a place that was special to my grandparents; the value lies in having experienced this haven alongside them!
And they would be overflowing with excitement to see that three generations later, their great-grandchildren love and appreciate its beauty.
We wake up to views of olive trees as far as the eye can see…land they used to harvest with their own hands. We’ve been using olive oil from their bounty my entire life.
We juiced oranges from the trees that they planted.
My kids had water fights under the same grape arbor as I did with my siblings. They drank water from Mt. Taygetus in the famed springs of the Geramos in the center of the village.
And in a most touching surprise, my sons served as altar boys in the same church in which my grandparents worshipped since they were young. We are indebted to the kind and humble Patera Elia who invited them to participate.
The Calm App would do well to create a mediation from the sound of the cicadas here. Their rhythmic song induces a long exhale on the veranda and we know we’re home.