I met my husband on a tiny, remote Greek island, where he had been posted by the Greek public schools to teach. The island has a registered population of around 700 residents, but in winter, it’s closer to 200. After we were married, I moved to the island and we lived there for about a year before moving to the city where we live now.
The experience of living on the island was special, full of challenges, peaceful, and at times frustrating. While we’ve been off the island for about 9 months now, we’ve been focusing so much on our new home here in the city that we haven’t had much time to think about the island. Nevertheless, once in a while, I remember the island fondly.
The island folds in on us with its heavy body, sea and air push us toward the rock’s interior, buffetted along the exposed ridge or under the hidden watered glade, around a threshing floor and over saffron and sage bushes.
Caper berries drizzle over your feet and a tossing palm decants a lengthy cat onto the white wall. A limestone face watches over the young dead and the rampant rosemary, witness to the colonization of an asphalt parking lot and an electric hum.
A lamed donkey admires the unreachable dandelion and lowers its head. A ball bounces on concrete and boys’ voices echo off the low rock wall. A motorbike comes up from the port, sputters to a stop, and leans into the glittering road.
Three more sunbeams sneak behind the great white church, dipping into the charcoal sea.