I have to admit, today I had an unexpected treat, a bit like a parcel, all wrapped up in a startling Cretan sky blue and tied with a big, leafy, olive green bow, which left me feeling rejuvenated and so at peace with the world.
Clearing the olive orchard of post harvest debris, the overly hot temperatures had left me perspiring and flushed. Taking a breather, I found a shady, imposing tree root to sit against.
My face cooled in the lightest of breezes and my respiration quietened. On the hill opposite, the chimes of a hundred sheep bells mellowed the already restful atmosphere. Each chime slightly out of time with the next, resonating different tones, but oddly, perfecting this delightful Cretan melody.
Crows seemed to be the only feathered creatures winging the air space today. Whilst not being one of my favourite birds, I was astonished by the sound their wings made striking the air, so powerful and dramatic, one could almost imagine a colossal prehistoric bird looming overhead, so resounding and distinctive was the sound.
On my earthen seat, my vision was suddenly brought into close proximity with the trunk of the olive. I focused on the minute detail of the trunk. Beautifully complex patterns worked into it`s fabric, twisted and gnarled ridges ringed with furrowed and puckered bark. Yawning hollows giving witness to some unknown event in the tree`s history. Within the hollow, a zillion ants engrossed in their own harvest.
Without realizing, I found myself reclining flat out on the ground, gazing at the wondrous realm above and around me, the gorgeous indigo canopy, with not a cloud to be seen. Then, on the underside of the lowest branch, hidden by a deep ripple in the bark, the initials AP + MZ (ΑΠ + ΜΖ) carved boldly, albeit tinily into the tree. My mind began concocting it`s own version of the love story of AP + MZ.
My repose was short lived as hubbie came crashing back with truck, duly emptied of branches, expecting the next pile to be ready for loading.
We finished the remaining jobs, but my mind mused these simple pleasures of Crete.
Back home, I couldn`t remember the last time I`d been down into the garden. Life`s been so hectic since I finished work in September, suddenly I perceived the changing season. It`s mid January, and having had little or no rain, the plants and trees seem somewhat confused. However delightful these unusually hot days we`re experiencing, it`s a concern when we find we`re still watering mid-January.
Leaves turning beautiful autumnal colours carpeted the ground. Surely, these should have already fallen?
Citrus trees in bloom, yet still carrying this year`s harvest. A ladybird making it`s first tentative appearance.
At least the narcissus (μανουσάκι) is on schedule and the delicate little flowers have been keeping us company since Christmas.
Once more, this delightful land brought me back down to earth, reminded me to “stop and smell the roses”, at the same time, handing me, so generously, a pint sized dose of it`s finest self.