The first, most beautiful Christmas of my life



A quarter past seven in the morning…

In a room still plunged in darkness, the alarm clock became the harbinger of the dawning of a new day, heralding fresh images, feelings, emotions, thoughts, messages, the promise of sharing, fun and games, laughter, joy, beauty…

“Margaret, wake up…” my first words resonate across a room which, like its occupants (Margaret and myself), was eager to peer out the window and feast its eyes on the snowy peaks of Konitsa, to be awakened by the frosty breath of Astraka, to encounter the bright, crystalline day lying ahead…

This morning, the alarm clock is playing hide-and-seek between the dream world and reality. At the moment, I don’t know which to choose. Where to nestle? In the dream or in reality?

How can I play? Where are my co-Travellers?

A bittersweet grievance fleetingly brushes against my heart.

“What does a day in the mountain leave you with?” The words of our beloved Drosoula awaken me, show me the way…

“I know what I’ll play today!” joyously squeals the child within me, hopping around. “I’ll create my own game, combining the dream with reality, reliving these wonderful Christmas days with all my senses. Yippee!”

And the game begins… One by one the images parade before my eyes… Some burrow into my heart, some into my thoughts, others manifest themselves in my sense of taste, while others sweeten my sense of smell with precious and unique fragrances… But all of them are within me, making their presence so profoundly felt that they lift me on a journey beyond time and space, joining the yesterday, the today and the tomorrow.

Everything speaks to me, all things become my co-Τravellers, all things become everything … so many things …

She mused…

“The sun gifted her with its warmth, dressing her in an ethereal garment that it had woven itself on the loom in its home using its brightest rays. The sky, as a citizen of the world, planted within her heart and mind the opening of its infinity and the vastness of its worldwide presence. The wind breathed into her the sense of freedom which would characterize her every expression throughout her life. The night gave her the stars and the moon to soothe her and calm her in both difficult and easy moments. The trees gave her their sturdy roots so that she could stand firmly upon the ground to weather whatever storms she would face later in life. The flowers trickled their perfume all over her being so that she would remain unforgettable to all who meet her. The waters of the rivers and seas gifted her with their flexibility so that she could wind her way past any obstacle in her life.”

(Extract from my book A Droplet’s Journey,

One day in the mountain, though, was and is much, much more than that…

It is all of you, with whom I shared the first, most beautiful Christmas of my life … but also you, who were absent (Rania, Elias, Julia, Elena, Thanos) as well as all the members of Travellers, with whom I share what constitutes supreme bliss for me: life in nature, Love and Awareness.

I thank my roommate Margaret –you were a revelation for me; my nutty pals in the peanut gallery, the nouveau-adolescents– Maria (Marilena’s godmother), Barbara and Panagiotis– words cannot describe how much we laughed!!!!! Well-behaved children… well-behaved so that Drosoula would let us all go into the bar….

I thank all of you, acquaintances and strangers, who, through the wealth of your soul, through a conversation, a hug, a glance, a smile, a joke, a ‘Good morning!’, a ‘Good night’, a ‘What’s your name?’, a ‘Happy New Year!’, a wish, a game, a dance, even a concern, become a reflection of my entire self, a union of all aspects of myself, thus assisting my evolution.

I thank you, Marilena, with all my heart – because of the great love you have for what you do, you inspire, you compose and you conduct this wonderful orchestra of souls … I thank you, Costa, our guardian-guide. Your experience and sangfroid inspired Sergio to suggest that instead of saying ‘we have a guardian angel’ we should say ‘we have Costa!!!!’ … We all understand why, don’t we?… Beautifuuuuuuul!!!

I thank all of you –Costi, Drosoula, Stella, Mimi, Manolis– for taking on the roles of leaders and ‘brooms’ and, in so doing, you teach us, you take care of us, you assist us, you guide us, step by step, one breath at a time, to cross gorges and rivers, to climb mountain slopes, to roam valleys, to reach the summit … from where we gaze at the essence, the meaning and the beauty of life.

And last but not least, I thank you, Alexander, for you are an entire chapter in and of itself, a story, a narrative, a perambulation, a source of joy!!!

And… lest we forget ourselves …and in order to remain within the spirit of the Travelers, whoever discovers what goes from cat, to cap, from cap, to can, from can, to gap… please inform us!!! Till then, I’m rolling on the floor laughing!!!

I love you


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