An opportunity for reflection

The emptier Athens gets, the prettier it is. It reclaims its shape, traffic is lighter, people are visible. Only a few enjoy this view of the city. Most leave, heading to the countryside, to their places of birth, to adopted islands, to their in-laws or friends. Many celebrate the Resurrection of Christ abroad, in the Middle East, in Istanbul and in European capitals. Anywhere they go, they will find a Christian Orthodox church – it may be the elegant San Giorgio dei Greci in Venice, the Phanar in Istanbul, Saint Stephane in Paris or Saint Nicholas in Cairo; any church will do. Increasingly, the ceremony includes Russians, Ukrainians, Georgians, Romanians, Serbs and Bulgarians; the Resurrection happens for them all. In every part of the world, Greeks welcome the Resurrection and spring, as they have done since the times of Adonis and Orpheus. It is a wonderful opportunity to take another look at themselves and at their homeland. It’s like coming back from abroad and seeing with clearer eyes what it is that makes our lives difficult, ugly. Easter presents an opportunity for Greeks to see Greece again outside the limits of its cities, to smell the aroma of freedom, to feel the beauty of the hinterland and to reflect on what they have before them, in their hands. They hold the future in their hands. For better or for worse, we are the land. The peal of a bell, an orchard, the stony ground, a mountain peak, the light playing on the surface of the sea, the poppies growing at the roadside, a forgotten song, these are the land and the question they ask is: Do you feel for your land? What are you doing for it? What are doing for yourself and the generations to come? One moment is enough. To reflect.

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