The Sailboats of Aegina Island are out on the Saronic Sea
Most mornings I wander out of the bedroom after doing an hour or so of supine meditations and awareness breathing. Morning is Zen as I greet Athan who has been busy at his computer sometimes for hours. I always take in the view through the wall of windows – simply because I must – it is so compelling.
Our little house on the hill above the sea commands the changing nuance in colour and breeze that personifies the Aegean Sea. I can tell what time it is without asking by the ferry that is crossing from Pireaus to Athens or the other way around. Like the ‘60s film about travel “If it’s Tuesday it Must be Belgium” I know that if it is Agias Nektarios bound for Pireaus it is 10:20 or thereabouts. If we are catching a ferry we know that if we see it from our balcony we better be in the car within five minutes to get to the port in time to buy tickets. And there are the days when I watch patiently for the ferry from Athens to come into view and Athan calls on his cell to say he sees me and I tell him I am waving but we really can’t each other; only the ferry sliding through the seas and a red tile roof somewhere on that slope of land.
But Friday morning is different. The seas between Aegina and the Island of Salaminis across the way are full of sails. Mostly white. As I write, one with a furled red foresail is anchored in the bay beneath our hill. I can only see the top third of the mast and foresail above the cliff edge bobbing in the gentle roll of the sea. I imagine people swimming in the clear aqua waters over the rocks or maybe now after 2:00pm they are enjoying the lull of the water and having an ipnaki. The air is warm and the breeze gentle. It is September and the sea is blue and the clouds are banked and clustered white and billowing above the mountains of Attika and the Peloponnese.
From here the sea looks placid and calm but I can see that there is a roll to the water that is constant like the inhale and exhale of the earth herself. Cicadas are playing a million miniature maracas. I hardly notice anymore when a car or motorbike passes on the road in front of the house. My world is here overlooking the sea. Ever changing. Ever the same. So many shades of blue. I am reminded of the Greek poet who said “God why do you hide behind so much blue?” and I wonder at the modern myth that blue was not a color until recent history. How can that be true? Today the sea is like chambray; the sky, washed linen and the mountains beyond those closest are faded denim. All is blue; white on blue reflected clouds on water; blue on blue, cat whiskers of breeze across the surface of the sea; blue on white, the undersides of the clouds as they gather over the distant mountains.
The sailboat below has unfurled its mainsail. It is white with a blue stripe at its base. Sun glistens off of the white deck as the boat catches the offshore breeze and glides eastward toward Athens. Gentle breezes. It is going nowhere fast. The sailors of the boats of the Friday Regatta are off somewhere, together likely, enjoying a day on the sea, in the air. Only two sailboats remain in view. One ‘in irons’ sails down, still and patient. The other under sail and power by the look of it. Heading slowly toward the port of Aegina. An early fishing boat has ventured out though it is only mid afternoon. All is quiet on the sea. Not even a ferry is in view. Looking toward the mountains of the Peloponnese, a mist, soft blue, rises from the deeper blue sea and smudges the distant greying blue of the receding mountains. Above soft clouds swirl blue and white and rise bright white to punctuate the soft azure sky.
Ahhh a flying dolphin ferry cuts the serenity with its throaty engine and bright blue and yellow with white frothed wake makes its way to the mainland. I realize there is a world of busyness and purpose and adventure and leisure out there beyond my balcony. But I am here and I am your observer. All is well. Peace and serenity and blue.