I am being consumed by the heat. We have been wandering around the streets of western Athens for about an hour now trying to find the bus stop. Men are yelling at each other in the streets. Their clothes are tattered and disheveled. I have seen this moment many times before just in different settings yet I never get used to the sight of poverty. I immediately reprimand myself for being judgemental.
As the first beam of sunlight seeps through my window, I tiptoe out of my room. The waves beckon me and the sand pulls me deeper into its embrace. I wonder if the sand will ever feel this soft again, the water this cool, and the air this fresh.
I no longer wonder why Santorini sunsets are famous. The rugged cliffs, sapphire waters and whitewashed villages are something out of my dreams.
My world had been transformed into castles and knights, making me the princess. I wander around the moat one evening in the shadows cast by the towering castle walls. I stop for a moment marveling that I am stepping on the very ground that history was made.
“American!” Spiro exclaims with so much spirit causing me to pause before taking a bite of the gyro again, “I love when Americans come around, I cannot talk to other greeks about this stuff, politics you know.”
I descend into the dark cave losing myself in the shadows. Looking at my reflection in the pool I imagine Zeus drinking from the same water. I wonder how vulnerable the King of Gods felt at that moment knowing that his own father wanted him dead. I thought parents were supposed to love us most in this world. But hey it's just mythology.
Looking down from atop the sand dune, I saw the most sapphire milky waters I have ever seen. We have stumbled upon this treasure by mere chance. How could so much beauty be hiding in one small unknown corner of the map?
Somehow I have ended up at the birthday party for a French man in Greece. Through the darkness of the night I hear my mom speaking french in beautiful syllables and I hear my loud American voice. Laughter erupts and I realize we are all the same.
I stood to the side of the trail my eyes wide open as some of the sheep stopped to smell me as if they were dogs. Finally the shepard appeared from behind the bushes, through noises which I cannot decipher he guides them away from me. After all the sheep have disappeared I still stand their frozen.
We have one more stop Delphi. Maybe the Oracle will tell me my destiny today. My dad is amazed by the history that lies within these stones that have been built and rebuilt. Time is circular that way. The same phrase keeps on repeating in my head. I know my destiny, it is home, tomorrow I will be home.
I do not know why it took me so long to write about last summer. Perhaps I believe my words can not do it justice, and trust me they don’t. Embarking on the task of trying to express all that I felt and saw during ten weeks of travel was impossible. But I feel this desire inside of me to share my experiences with people. If only you could look into my eyes and see it all for yourself.