My surname in Greek means “golden leaf”. I can vividly remember my dad and my grandad telling me this: about our far (far,far,far) Greek roots. The part of Sicily where my dad comes from was once known as Magna Grecia and as witness of this we have the stunning architecture and some places which still keep the original names. In the below map, you can refer to Naxos and Taormina as the places where my roots are supposed to be.
The ancient wisdom is, alas, still to be found but I can affirm I do look like a Greek (as said by Greek themselves)!
I do am very proud of my roots and I started to realize I belonged to Greece only when I actually travelled till there the first time, in 2006.
I remember landing on a hot, dry soil at the end of September and the temperatures up to 40 degrees. I was still in my gothic phase, wearing heavy boots en pendant with purple and white long hair. Also, I used to often entertain myself with strong and generous doses of alcohol during the day too, so the weather shock for me was probably even stronger than for other passengers. An yes, I was coming from Sicily but still, it was too damn hot for being late September!
So the doors opened and suddenly, when I approached the stairs to get down I can remember such a quick, strong slap hitting my five senses. It wasn’t the heatwave or the alcohol running for my veins. It was just the Greek air kidnapping me for an unlimited amount of time that now I know is forever. Socrates and all the personages I had admired and with whom I spent restless nights together during the previous college years, they were all there to welcome me, to the place where the love for wisdom had born. Where democracy was a word with a weight. The first place who entered in contact with the Asian philosophy and silently absorbed part of it within.
I will never get tired of the Greek air and every time I know I am approaching the Greek horizons my heart sings the happiest songs because I feel I am coming back home. It’s not a wish, it’s not illusion. It’s a deep physical and humid bond that it’s crafted from my inside. The humid is the most remote slice of earth which I can touch in every Greek soul, by losing myself inside their dark, big eyes.
When I land in Sicily, I feel at home because I know I have my family there: if they wouldn’t be there, I wouldn’t go so often.
But every time I just even think about Greece, I feel in my heart that I am talking about the place I belong to and that I miss more then my birthland. Tears even now fill my eyes if I think I have to wait till June to go back there. There are mountains and rivers calling me and the sea that I particularly love, the Libyan sea, it is there. Strong, selfish and moody, maybe a little bit like me!
Normally, there is a logic behind the statements we give birth to. Similar to the scientific process, you have a cause, a reason and an effect so you can tie your conclusions. For me it works like that most of the times. Probably I am not very rational in my actions – not all the time. I have a very passionate side which rules a lot too – thanks to the gods, otherwise I would be such a boring person! But I like following a rationale anyway, even when I know I won’t be able to put it in practice.
Greece, the Greeks and being “hellenic” is for me something that overcome the scientific borders. There is not a particular reason behind my unconditional love, devotion and care that I give to this land and here stays the truth. It’s not for the food, it’s not for the weather, it’s not for the wonderful beaches or the smiley folks. It’s just because it’s Greek!