I know I don't often visit you, but you know that you are always on my mind. Don't worry, I haven't come to ask anything from you, as we mostly do when we pray; I think you know better than me what and where to offer. I just came by today to have a chat, and mostly to thank you.
The rioting in my town, in the country where I live, having forsaken the identity and country I was born in, have left me feeling rather numb. I didn't expect my life in Greece to be ruled by anarchists, whether they are political tsamboukades, or young inexperienced youth. But that seems to be what is happening now, and I am left with an identity crisis.
Am I Greek, Kiwi, Kiwi-Greek, Greek-Kiwi? I seem to to be none of those. When I lived in NZ, I knew I wasn't a Kiwi - my parents made sure of that: Greek language, Greek church, Greek food, Greek relatives, Greek house style, Greek friends. When I came to Greece, I knew I wasn't a Greek - my NZ upbringing made sure of that: Kiwi accent, Kiwi souvenirs, ex-pat Kiwi friends, the mentality of someone who had lived an orderly life in which everything had been handed to her on a plate, with little to be passionate about.
You led me out of Kiwidom, into Europe, through Athens, eventually positioning me in Hania. I still feel different from the locals, and as you know, I have very few Cretan-born friends - my relatives do not count, as they are blood-related - but at least I know what to say when people ask me where I'm from: I'm Cretan. You know what I mean: I don't follow the flow, I don't accept what I'm given, I stand up for myself, I'm not a yes-(wo)man, and above all, I'm independent. Thank you for bringing me to the right place.
top: 17 March 2008; bottom: 9 December 2008
I almost forgot to mention my greatest appreciation for the little gift you left us last night, after the freezing cold temperatures - we even turned on the heating! I heard a a shower of rain falling in the early hours - it woke me up - and my mind went to the washing I had hung out to dry. In the morning, I saw an uplifting sight - snow, SNOW on our mountains, LEFKA ORI! And this is why I wanted to thank you:
- Thanks so much for the overnight rain - it acted like an automatic sprinkler system, with very little interruption to our life (apart from my wet laundry), watering my spinach and carrots and radishes, so that there'll be a good bounty for us to feed ourselves with
- Thanks so much for snow on Lefka Ori - we may have a lack of tourists next year, but at least there'll be plenty of water for us to keep ourselves clean, drink and water our gardens
- Thanks so much for the sun - you have truly blessed us with the best things in life.