After the Storm

During the last week or so, the weather in Athens has been pretty variable. A sunny day on Saturday at the beach, but rain in the suburbs. Threatening grey clouds and a cool breeze. Then bright sun and puffy white clouds.

This meteorological unpredictability lends itself well to metaphors and allegories for the Greek ‘situation.’ As the days go by, fear and uncertainty loom, much as the sky hasn’t been quite cloud-free recently. There is an occasional shower, similar to the way the newest polls bring a shower of different and distressing reactions.

We must not forget, however, that we’ve also had a decent share of sunny days, which, at least for me, have proven to be a useful reminder of one of Greece’s assets that cannot be taken away. It sounds cheesy I know, but the Greek sun is something special that consistently makes me smile. It’s not enough to supplement a dwindling pension or to put food on the table, but it does get Greeks outside and back to doing what they do best – enjoying life as much as possible.

On Sunday I was walking through town, trying to make it home before the rain clouds caught up with me. I was about halfway there when they did, so I reluctantly gave up my walk and took shelter at a bus stop to wait for a drier way to get home. Since it was Sunday, this wait was considerable, but not unpleasant. I was dry, for one thing, but watching the cars rush past, I was reminded of the life and energy of Athens that I love so much. In the end, the rain stopped before a bus came, so I got up to continue my walk and was rewarded with… yes indeed, a rainbow. Again, cheesy, but also symbolic?

The theme of my musings on Greece seems to remain relatively constant. Things are bad, yes, and might get worse but I have two possible responses. First – I’m an optimist and it is still impossible for me to completely resign myself to the collapse of the country. Second – there is still so much to love about Greece.

On that note, I’m off to Santorini tomorrow with my mother.. Even if it’s cloudy, as is forecasted, I don’t think it will be difficult to find a silver lining.

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