It’s the warm coloured stone of Greek churches. It’s the restful aureate light that everything here exists in. The dusty, balmy heat. The smelling like chamomile and cinnamon stillness of it all that made you want to stay. The pomegranate tree, free for the picking in the courtyard of the shelled out house on the hill was just a bonus. As were the old, toothless grinning villagers on their white plastic chairs lazing out front of their homes. They are curious why you’re here but not uneasy over your presence. They are amused by your astonishment, tickled by the way you navigate the streets in excited circles. They are proud of this place and their place here. Maybe this is why their doors remain always slightly open, revealing tall breezy courtyards draped in deep green hanging plants and a motley collection of doors you’ll never get to see behind. And the café with the books stacked high up in the windows, jay blue shutters pushed back to reveal an old piano, more books, a buttery and welcoming light.
You take a seat on a bench, the chalky stone warm under your thighs despite the dying sun. You try to really picture yourself here, picture him watching you write on the wrought iron balcony over the lace shop. A priest warbles from inside the church as a wedding takes place. It reaches you in echoes. You tell yourself that you could stay here and that you could be happy. And you probably could for a while. It is everything you thirst for at this particular moment. But then you start thinking about all the places you’ve said that about and all the different things you think you want. And how long could you really be happy here before those other places start calling you again? And will you ever really find a place that you don’t ever want to leave or is that just an idea saved for the future. A future that is always and forever in the future. How long until stolen pomegranates and losing yourself on cobbled alleyways isn’t enough for you anymore?
You close your eyes and let the sound of the priest billow through you. You covet, for a moment, a time that you won’t be plagued by all the things you haven’t seen yet. To look upon something with detached interest and feel it pull at nothing inside you, feel it leave just as quickly as it arrives. Like a pinprick that draws no blood. Like words you don’t understand.