Tuesday, 8 January 2008
Seeing this lovely picture on Flickr of Easter in Kosmas by Panos Bobolas I recalled that in July 1996 we were driving from Leonidias to Sparta on route for Pylos. For once I was driving. Amy, then 11, was in the back. Lin was trying to look the other way as we ascended the sinuous road west. We left behind the heat on the shore. The land became cool with pines. We came to Kosmas Kynourias high on Mount Parnonas - and parked by a blank house wall on its edge and strolled along a narrowing deserted alley. At its end, to our delighted surprise, we entered a wide tree filled plataea full from side to side with people of every age eating and drinking round many tables, filling the square with their conversation. We found a space and ordered cakes and drinks to go with them. Where had all these people come from? My cousin Ioanna, who'd given us lunch at Leonidias, said these were Greeks who came back to their ancestral village on summer weekends. Kosmas had been famous for lemons which thrived at these heights, but no amount of lemons could support modern aspirations. The present was gone; the past was seasonally revived, as people, including taverna owners and their bustling staff, returned from the rest of the world [see My Greek Odyssey] filling the quiet of Kosmas with happy conversation.