Crisis. What Crisis?


The contrast between the Nepal I left and the Greece I find myself in couldn’t be more stark, although the journey has been from one crisis to another. As I left Kathmandu, the city was settling back to its old chaotic self with record traffic and loadshedding a-plenty. The schools had returned, a demolition effort had removed the more visible damage, and remaining remnants from the earthquake’s devastation just blended together with the old, broken, and partially-constructed ramshackleness of the pre-earthquake city.  At least on the surface, things looked back to normal.

Here –at least superficially — there is no crisis in sight.  The air smells of Greek pine-y fragrance, the crickets are making their usual racket, the July sun beats down and the cross winds blow through our house sending dried bougainvillea flowers scuttling down our path.  I watch the sea sparkle and little boats chug by in the distance.  Its peaceful, beautiful, and a wonderful place to be.

The Smell of Home

spetses harbour

Daily Prompt: From the yeasty warmth of freshly baked bread to the clean, summery haze of lavender flowers, we all have favorite smells we find particularly comforting. What’s yours?

Tomorrow I board a plane for a much anticipated break to our Greek home.   I know our life there so well.  There are so many memories. I can imagine myself sitting on the wall with my legs dangling down to the street, looking out to sea.  I can hear Greek voices and the occasional putting of a boat engine.  I can hear the straining of motorcycle as struggles up the hill to the street below. It all seems a million miles away from Kathmandu, away from the incessant honking and the frustrating chaos of it all.   It’s so hard to imagine such a radically different place from the one that consumes me now. Like traveling from a cold, harsh climate to the summer sun, its a leap of faith to know that it really is there waiting for us.

Somewhere among all the memories is the island smell, but I can’t place it exactly.  Its a heady mixture of mountain herbs, jasmine blossom,  pine trees, Greek cooking sifting over the wall from the neighbor’s kitchen, and island mystery ingredients.  I can’t place it,  but I know the smell.   Its the smell of home.