The Greek Custom I Wish We’d All Adopt
When thinking about what sentiment or subject I most wanted to send you all off into the weekend with, only one thing came to mind: the volta.
I haven’t been everywhere, but I’m fairly confident that I’ll never adore another place more than Greece. I smiled stupidly the entire visit and at inappropriate times. I just watched back a video recorded during a drive through Crete, and the entire time my expression is that of a–what’s the dumbest and happiest creature there is? My face looked like that. In awe. In magic. Enchanted and delighted.
Were I to attempt to pick apart the experience and pin point my favorite aspects, well, I suppose I’d rather not. Picking preferred children is so trying.
But, there is one thing that I feel compelled to share, especially since it’s a practice that one could ostensibly employ anywhere in the world. It’s not vague like the pace of life and the intention of slowing down enough to be present, either, but obvious, and somewhat easily replicable.
When in Greece, you’ll likely find the streets and shorelines suddenly filled with clusters of people at dusk.
You might mistake the custom, or not even notice it at all. You might think it’s just specific to the location. Travel elsewhere, and you’ll see it isn’t a fluke. Bounce islands, trade the shore for the unmarked street of a no-where town in Crete and you’ll see: what people there are in the area are out walking together at sundown.
They walk in small packs: whole families, from grandparents to small tots, groups of friends, young and old. There are couples and couples of friends. Everyone, I mean everyone, is out.
But it isn’t chaotic or rowdy or even crowded. Everyone moves easily, and no one hurries.
They stroll contently and chat amongst themselves. Some are on bikes. Some push strollers. Many lick their ice cream cones.
Hardly any stare down at their screens.
I’m not sure I’ve ever observed a more endearing custom than that of the volta.
I want more volta-ing in my life. I want a few less sundowns spent staring at this computer, and more enjoyed in the open air, digesting the day and talking about nothing much.
And I wish you the volta, too. I wish you the calm that comes only when you’re outside. I wish you the time to stroll leisurely. I wish you the wonder to notice how gracefully the sunlight slowly fades, how it gives way so effortlessly to the dark, so that it isn’t so much a turning as it is a trade: molecule for molecule, atom for atom, blink to blink. I wish you someone magnificent by your side and something brilliantly lit inside.
Let’s all go take a little volta, shall we? And if we pass each other on the street, we’ll smile at each other and wink: living it so Simply.
All my love,
Image credit: 2 Straws
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