March 2019

Today being the last day of March, I did two trips of wheel barrow wild flower gathering exercise. Once the replanting was done, a quick brew and a Greek coffee with my mate Kostas the retired Stone Mason was in order.  Lunch consisted of bread and cheese followed by another brew. Now, I realise that it must seem that I drink a lot of brews over here but believe you me the fluid intake is necessary for the body to function at a reasonable capacity.

Now that I digressed and carried on like a pork chop, the reason for this article is one of serenity. So much so that I have added two videos, one of which I suggest can be downloaded and used repeatedly as a form of relaxation.  The video goes for five minutes and it was taken by the “Xerila” stream located some 900 metres from the village and 400 metres from the cottage.  Late in the afternoon (daylight savings over here already), I went for a long stroll towards the South and followed the banks of the Xerila stream. Back in 2013 when I was here with my Dad and young nephew William, I followed the dried Xerila stream with William.

This time it was flowing with a steady stream of water all making its way down to the mighty Evrotas River. The Xerila is one a number of streams located within the Pellana region, all of which feed the main Evrotas river. Today, whilst skirting the banks, I followed a crude path probably created by wild boars (pigs), through the numerous grasses and wild flowers, down towards the Xerila stream.   I was so captivated by what I saw that I just sat down to admire my surroundings. My mind went back to my time with the First Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment during our numerous jungle training years.

I distinctly remember lying flat in a fast-flowing stream with weapon (SLR) up high, webbing and body in the shallows as the water rushed past. Mind you, it was a welcome reprieve for me because of the humidity. Our section was waiting for ou “imaginary” enemy to pass.  Yes, it was a wonderful memory of youth and here near the edge of the stream, I found the perfect place for solitude, peace and serenity all in one.

The gurgling of the water rushing over the boughs of the log sunken into the stream, the thrashing of the water as it danced, pranced and jumped over the rocks and pebbles that was in its way. The crash of water onto a flat pool not far from the sunken log, the birds above chirping, the insects doing what they do best buzzing around and the odd fly making an appearance now and then. A beautiful orchestra of nature made one realise that much of what we take for granted is free. There is no patents on nature, there are no hidden agendas and certainly nature is what it is, wild but beautiful.  I hope readers can enjoy and appreciate that world we live in. Despite man made imperfections, we as a species can never rival the beauty and serenity of nature.

That’s all for now, stay strong and cheerio.  Peter