Sunday, 7 June 2009

Inspired by Kefalonia - the Peace Tree

Well, I just got back from an inspiring two weeks on my favourite Greek island - the lovely green island of Kefalonia, where Curse of the Tahiera was 'conceived'.

The beautiful ancient olive tree that is featured on the cover of the book grows here, on the hill above Antisamos overlooking Sami bay, where a few great blocks of stone from the Mycean period (2000 BC) still stand proudly. His/her mate, another stunning ancient olive tree, stands a few meters away, overlooking Antisamis bay.

I took a moment to connect with this lovely tree, that has many faces (I've taken about 30 photographs!) and must have seen a lot of history. Much of the lovely many-flowered island's history is violent, with invaders coming at it left and right for centuries. Among them were the Romans, who laid siege to the beautiful proud ancient Mycean city of Same (Sami) on top of the hill and finally conquered it, the last of the four Kefalonian city-states to be taken, and took the inhabitants away as slaves.

Yet when I connected with this place for the first time, I felt nothing but peace and joy - somehow, the earth only seems to remember the heart-felt pride of the people who dwelt here for centuries, their joy and zest for life, and the dance of the nymphs that still dwell in the caves in the hills!

The tree itself, an amazing example of perpetuating life, young branches and new leafs sprouting from seemingly dead wood, exudes a wordless kind of peace. I sat with it, touching its rough bark, and imagined myself being the tree, seeing it all for centuries, the sieges, the wars, the pirate attacks, and finally the nazis taking over the island in World War II.
And all I felt this tree radiating was: 'It is all well. All is Peace. All is Well...'

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