Thursday, 16 April 2015

Defining Beauty

Photo by Nigel
At my age, gifts are not always welcome:
“Where am I going to put that?”
“I already have one in the cupboard under the stairs.”
“It doesn’t match my waffle iron.”
But a couple of weeks ago, I received a very different gift from Carol.  On hearing we were taking the family for a short break to Athens:
“There is something you must do…”
She recommended an excursion.  I just nodded politely – we were in Athens only three days – did I really want to spend a third of it somewhere else?  But the next day, I received an email from her, giving precise travel details. 
This was a gift horse and I decided not look it in the mouth.  We would follow instructions.
Consequently, on only our second day, we took a metro to the port at Piraeus, ferry to Aegina, negotiated a ticket for the infrequent and decidedly vintage bus, drove up into the hills.
An abiding memory of smooth pruned pistachio trees rising out of a sunshine host of marigolds.
Further, past terraced ranks of silvery olives and ancient Greek whitewashed churches.
Until finally we arrived at a grove scented with pines and carpeted with the asphodel that grows in Elysium itself.
We found ourselves alone there in the presence of the ancient and perfectly proportioned Temple of Aphaea, carved out of creamy limestone.

Thank you, Carol.

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