Six months after my father’s death, I revisit his native Greece. I am full of sadness and awe for a place that produced such a complex man.

With my husband and three children, the youngest named after the grandfather he never knew, I travel, hoping to find some clues as to
who he was.  In every corner I find evidence of him, even in the stones he did not tread. 

As a boy he herded flocks of sheep high into the hills where the air was cool and the grass plentiful.  Here there are dirt roads,
mountain terrain, olive trees in abundance and the beginning of the River Styx.  At night, he slept under the stars.

The family home sits high on the side of a mountain surrounded by trees.  It faces the Corinthian Sea.  The back view looks to the hills. 
That is where we look for truths his father taught him.  And my father taught me.

In front of the house sits an old fig tree.  It was large and obstructed his elderly mother’s view of the sparkling sea.  Every summer my father, her youngest and most distant son returned, to climb the branches and lovingly cut large portions away only to return the following summer to
begin the ritual anew.  The tree has now been sheared.  Lemon trees grow in the ‘kypo’.  We went back to see them yearly.  Periodically
there was a new one, young and fragile.

About twenty years ago a new cemetery replaced the small old bone yard where the markers are crumbling.  My grandfather, grandmother,
uncle and aunt were buried the same grave.  I always wondered where my father wanted to be laid to rest.  I never asked.  My mother
said his wish was to stay near his children.  Far from the place I first understood to be home.

Now my children wander among the stones, the crosses and the photographs of the dead.  They conjure up their own images of lost
ancestry. I wonder what they see. All souls must pass. How do we reconcile a difference of so many miles



MISCELLANEOUS      1996 -2000