Mother’s Day in Kissos
I am composing this today in Kissos, Greece at KaliKalos. We have an afternoon break, siesta, and it seemed a nice quiet time to write. I am not sure when I will able to post it as a blog, since internet is more limited here. This is the view from my room out toward the sea and the island of Sklepias and Alonissos.
I am living for two weeks in a community that offers summer classes and retreats starting in June. I am part of the work crew to set up everything for the summer after winter shut down. The crew is setting up tents and yurts, reclaiming the gardens, cleaning rooms, airing out mattresses, etc. Of course there are also a couple of people who cook for us all too. The food is delicious and fresh and vegetarian with, of course Greek yogurt, feta cheese and also occasional eggs. A friend bought a bottle of ouzo and so I had ouzo and water last night with dinner and loved the anise flavor. It was nice to sip. Once a week, on Tuesday, the group goes out to dinner in the villages nearby and there is supposed to be some great fresh fish. This is the photo of my room in an old house across the street from the complex.
I left Crete last Wednesday, my legs and big toe were still stiff and sore from the Samaria Gorge hike. I flew to Thessaloniki and spent two nights on the Aegean sea. As I was going to my hotel in a taxi, I commented on seeing the “ocean” and was corrected that it was a Sea! Certainly milder tides and lower waves. I walked and rested, elevating my sore toe and treating it. I looked up a website on doing toe readings and discovered that the left big toe represents your soul path or purpose, interesting that it is the one I damaged on this huge vision quest, isn’t it?
I arrived by bus in the city of Volos, which is also where I need to catch my ferry in two weeks to a nearby island, Alonissos, where I am going to do the George Vithtoulkas class for ten days. I was met at the bus by Adam, from KaliKalos, and along with other arriving workers we all had lunch at an outdoor restaurant. After lunch while we were waiting for some other arrivals, several of us walked to the port area and I looked for where to catch my ferry. After some discussion with the travel people, it was determined I had a ticket to Skiathos island, not Alonissos! I was able to buy an additional ticket, so in two weeks when I head off on the ferry, I will not get stranded part way. I was glad I checked.
Volos is a warm, dry climate like you think of in Greece. We went in the van up the mountain, even past a patch of snow, to the village of Kissos where we are staying. From my window I look out over vines and trees down to the sea and the rising sun in the early morning. The temperatures up here are much more temperate – in the 70’s, but the sun feels intense if you are out in it mid-day. We work after breakfast and a meeting in the morning until 1:00 lunch. Then have afternoon off until 6 when we work until 8 PM dinner. It is a fifteen minute ride down to the beach, so yesterday I walked part with a group and then was picked up and had a ride the rest of the way to the beach. There were restaurants in a small village along the beach and we were able to sit in the shade having drinks. The water was incredibly clear. One of these days I will swim and another day I will walk down to the beach to where they filmed beach scenes for the movie Mama Mia. This is a beach photo and a flower picture I am pleased with.
The founder of this community is quite ill, and not here, so in addition to the work, there are decisions and meetings happening to decide the future course for this location. It is a great opportunity for me to observe how they handle making tough decisions in community, although I am not directly involved in the meetings.
I am mostly enjoying working with the others on projects. Sometimes the group process takes a lot of time, however, I am not in a rush. It promotes creativity to solve problems with the materials on hand, but I can see it might lead to problems when perhaps the solutions don’t hold for the summer. It is certainly a beautiful micro climate here.