A sunbeam, slender like a golden thread stretched from miles away, found its target in the third from the right blotch of its left wing. The little ladybird, who at that moment was taking her bath in a drop of morning rubbing trapped in the yellow eyelid of the primula, enjoyed the warmth and after a moment opened her wings and slid into the air coming down with force from the top of the mountain in the lap of Pagasitikos. “Good sign” he thought and his gaze followed for a while and then he was left gazing at a sailboat that slowly but steadily was pushed from the lavender into the port of Volos. His pedigree was cut by the “kordoni”, a 1000-meter cement lane where boats like this one are tying and the city’s teenagers give their first kiss! Suddenly, his eyes rose to the sky. A thick, white line tore the blue and hid behind a spectacular chest in the direction of its destination and he followed.
The walk did not take long and the stone-built remnants of Sanatorium appeared in front of him. The first stone was laid in 1909 by George Karamanis, a day like this one where spring struggles to defeat winter and love indifference. Hundreds of tubers from all over Greece passed through this place where the fresh air, the raw foods, the care of the doctors, but mainly the acceptance of these oppressed “peanuts” that were experiencing strong racism at the time, led them to form a peculiar society where they lived with love. They didn’t care about the future because they didn’t have a future.
More than a century later, open windows were adjoining the branches of adjacent trees as moss and bougainvillea embraced the adobe walls. Pan’s refuge was not too far away and the god along with Mother Nature always knows how to take back man’s creations and rebirth them. He climbed the stairs and went downstairs, enjoying the view and the fresh air from the rooms that once housed the sick, and got a taste of the glamor of the building, observing the bronze jackets and once noble, now dark-skinned, oak closets. But the strongest impression was left by the chapel of St. Anargirwn in the basement. The planks from the wooden floor had collapsed creating a hole in the center of the room, in front of the beautiful gate of the sanctuary, but around the frescoes of Saints, Our Lady and Christ looked at the visitor with care and knowledge. Many people’s hands joined in front of them in the shape of prayer, asking for mercy and salvation. But, also, in all other places of the Sanatorium too many hands were held with their neighbors in the shape of unity. Sick in their beds, they were waiting for the nurses to hear a few good words but more importantly someone that could hold their hand and give them warmth and strength. “Give me your hand to keep my life,” says T. Levaditis.
This simple gesture where the fingers are intertwined and the palms are touching is perhaps the most valuable we have. They unite people and the energy of one begins to flow into the other. Two people, when they meet each other, give a handshake and each time they meet again, shaking hands they hold it longer. A couple, when they are sure of their craving, is held first “hand in hand”. How much joy, excitement and happiness do all people feel at that moment? But, also, in the difficulties. Young people are caught and united in chains as they march against the hostile state and “hold on to hold me, to climb the mountain” say our people.
Suddenly he felt alone and decided to seek the human presence. He left the rubble behind him and took the path of return. Approaching a corridor, she saw a black-haired, bubbly old lady carrying a bunch of sticks to her stove. “Good morning grandma, do you want any help?” He asked when her steps had brought her closer. “Yes my boy. I wish you had ” she responded. So the bundle was loaded and unmoved to the asphalt road where her little house was. The old woman pulled out a large, rusty wrench from her jacket pocket and opened the elaborate, metal gate of her garden. “Just leave them there and wait for me to give you a threat” she said, pointing to an empty, flower pot under a freshly blossom almond tree. He then remembered his grandfather’s field, when he was a kid, where he used to play with the soil forming grooves to roll the water on the various plants but mainly on the small almond tree they had planted with his grandfather and grandmother for the first time. He got distracted by admiring the white and pink blossoms that sprang from the delicate twigs until Lady Pagona, as she later introduced, returned from the inside of the house with a round saucer of a spoonful of walnut and a glass of cool water. He enjoyed them both without much talking but with bright eyes he gently kissed her hand, before letting him go his way.
Today in the sanatorium, he realized how important love is. Love is a feeling of intense affection and protection for a person. He who loves, experiences happiness within himself through offering and being close to the person for whom he has strong feelings. Love in every form, whether friendly, maternal, or emotional, is magnificent and rushing like a torrent. Many believe that the opposite of love is hatred. This thinking is wrong, because hatred, through your desire to hurt or harm the other, is so powerful that in the end it binds you to the person you hate, letting his thought poison and soothe you. The real opposite of love is indifference. In indifference, you do not deal with the existence of the other, the person you care about does not give you any emotion.
Love, according to Erich Fromm, is the answer to the happiness that every one of us so desires, it is a decision other than a unique feeling. Undoubtedly, this is the most important feeling one can feel, it is the beginning and the end. La fin du Debut.