On my daily afternoon walks, I pass a kaleidoscope of orchards, vineyards and olive groves, where fragrant fruit trees and knotty grapevines are meticulously pruned and impeccably tailored, in anticipation of the next spring bloom and autumn harvest.
Smiling, I greet the olive trees that stand in perfect alignment, forming an umbrella of an arbour that beckons a romantic stroll. They stand tall and still, as if on guard, until I pass by. Knowing my schedule, (and just seconds prior to our paths crossing), they seem to uproot themselves on cue, to confirm that the road ahead is safe, and then, just in the nick of time, they jump back into place, pretending to be lazily basking in the warm rays of the afternoon sun. Later, on my way back, their heads bowed, upper trunks slightly bent over, they 'take off their hats', as they bid me adieu, having completed their act of chivalry for the day.
Almost immediately, the mountains come into view, and even though they are across the valley, their peaks pierce the skies above and the thick vegetation below, specifically to keep an eye on me, until I reach the neighbouring village, my designated destination.
Once there, I stop for a moment to rest, before making my way back home. Catching my breath, I find myself, time and time again, wondering who might have occupied the now abandoned stone house, on the hill across the road. It hovers above me, like a trainer tracking my progress, as I catch my breath, then quench my thirst, and having just struggled with the steepness of the incline, I imagine a proud pat on the back. Just when I start to get comfortable on the weather worn, wooden bench, I hear the screeching of a silent whistle, warning me that I'd better get a move on, so as not to lose my momentum.
For a few minutes, the trek is downhill, and I am grateful for the spectacular, unobstructed views of the coastline. The calmness of the sea, in contrast with the rugged, rocky terrain in the distance, rejuvenates me. Suddenly, a strong gust bends branches and the congregation of leaves waver in the wind, many ready to fall, in compliance with the season. I marvel at this multitude of plant life, closely nestled together, like rowdy kindergarteners posing for their first class photo, dressed in casual attire boasting favourite animated heroes, which they try to emulate, as they smile playful, toothy grins for the camera.
Midway between the two villages, a powdery half moon quietly appears on the scene. Still sleepy, it hides behind the opaque shade of a blue blanketed sky, gathering strength for the midnight shift - a permanent position.
Around the bend, an unveiled, bare grapevine takes centre stage, and like a prima ballerina, it strikes a pivoted pose, proudly showing off its scrawny frame, evidence of persistence and hard work during the season. Yes! I definitely see a semblance of dancing swans, frozen in its stillness.
As I take the turning into my own neck of the woods, a flirty drizzle catches my attention, and I imagine the collection of critters that must seek refuge from heavy rains under the canopy of the leafy trees, that borders the gardens of the last little church in my vicinity. And I am home.
Thank you for visiting.
All images: Poppy
All images: Poppy