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.
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.