Humble, Real, Determined
A touch of Grace in greece
Athens, Greece: 18 April 2016
There is a happiness bubble dancing through my body and being at the moment. I am sitting in the sun on a stunningly clear warm day, surrounded by plants, on my friends balcony in central Athens. When I look up, I see atmospheric old terraced apartments lining the streets, each with a balcony that reflects life. Some have bikes hung on the side of the building waiting to be pulled down an ridden, some have an abundance of lush plants growing through the railings and dow the wall, some have washing strung up to dry. On top of the roofs are thousands of higgledy piggledy antennae's, calling in the signals of the wide world through their tender tips. It is beautiful. It is so different to the 'look' of Australian life, but I have a sneaking suspicion that there is much that is similar within. Family, food, work, community, celebration, tears… the human experience, in all of its wonder and challenge.
When I look down to the street from this lovely foliage filled balcony, there is a little cafe and sitting out the front, there are a collection of old men. Retired, relaxed and socialising in the morning with their coffee's. Men gather like this all over Athens. You see then playing cards at tables in the park or sitting around as the only patrons at a cafe during the day. This sense of men gathering with men is really beautiful to me. There are so many different kinds of interaction that feed our soul and when I witness men gathering like this, I have a distinct feeling that it is nourishing their souls. Any soul nourishing is bound to be supportive of the collective.
I feel so blessed to have landed last night into the home of my beautiful friends Kosta and Anastasia. I was such a smooth and familiar way to land in an unfamiliar city, creating a grounded peace and excitement to the beginning of my journey through Europe. It feels quite poignant that this blessed beginning leads the way for my journey to come. And for this Aussie to wake this morning and discover that her Greek friend has Vegemite in the fridge, a happy Aussie makes.
Last night, I experienced a local Athens and my heart was seriously exploding with happiness all the way. We walked from the apartment to a district where the locals hang out. The district is renowned in Athens for its Anarchistic Collectives - buzzing with vitality and life. It is a hub for street art and left of centre culture. It is the place where people who want to change the system gather. Anarchy, art and culture - it holds a powerful energy of ignition. It is funky, vibrant and covered in interesting and politically oriented graffiti. To get there, we wandered through a labyrinth of grungy narrow streets - old terraced apartments with ornate little balconies, flowers and greenery poking their heads out through railings, banisters and cracks in the walls, broken pavement beneath your feet and a slight incline. There are people wandering gentle about, doing their thing, walking their dogs or walking home from work or play. There was an amazing variety of bars, cafes and little restaurants that all feel Full of Life.
The Athens that I experienced, felt alive with feeling and possibility. In a global climate such as the one we inhabit, where countries such as Greece are struggling to find solid ground, there was a determination in the air. A humble determination and willingness to meet life struggles with heart and empowerment. It was really beautiful to feel. Thank you Athens, you really opened your heart and treating me to your energetic centre. I feel exceptionally blessed.