“A day in our life” revisited…
I feel the warmth of the sun on my face.
The sun-rays seem to be peeking through the wooden shutters, trying to make their way into our bedroom.
“Let there be light!” it appears to be what the star is telling me in a soft and gentle tone.
It wakes me up before the alarm goes off.
As I stare at the ceiling a kind of peacefulness overcomes me.
My wife is still sound asleep, looking very serene so, I let her be.
I start to listen to some music on my headphones and go about my morning ritual.
Standing at the veranda I see one of our neighbors, a nice old lady, at the building across from ours, watering the plants.
I wave and say in Greek, “Kaliméra! Óla kalá?” (Good morning! Everything ok?).
She answers back with a huge smile on her face.
I fondly recall the conversations between her and my wife over the past months, almost every single evening, from the veranda.
She does not speak a word of English.
We are still learning the basics of Greek.
So, instead of ideas and point of views we are actually talking about two persons exchanging pleasantries and interacting at a very basic level.
Thing is I find the effort, the attempt to overcome the language barrier, to be more meaningful than some conversations being held in your own native tongue.
Often people open their mouths, words come out and, at first glance, it looks like they are engaged in a relevant conversation. But, unfortunately, in some cases it is nothing more than a huge waste of time.
That is not the case here. A bridge is being built.
“Bom dia!” (Good morning!).
My wife greets me in Portuguese and gives me a hug and a kiss.
We finish breakfast, prepare lunch and head to work.
It’s going to be a very warm day, we can tell.
A hot breeze from the Aegean sea engulfs us as we get out of our building.
Walking down the street, we greet another friendly face.
This is a person that has distinctly seen too many winters.
This is someone that, I believe, should be enjoying his golden years somewhere else.
Someone that, gracefully, should be giving us all greater knowledge and understanding of life due to his experience.
He stands at the corner of our street instead, waiting for gentle souls. He is not the only one, regrettably…
We share our lunch and ponder about mankind and what it must be perceived as a low point.
He smiles and waves us goodbye.
“Yassas!”… he wins us over with his perseverance and resilience.
On our way to the bus stop we exchange glances and smiles with the fantastic group of persons that, every single morning, are at the public park near to our place.
They are mainly pensioners and homeless people who share not only the weary wooden benches, but as well narratives of the olden days.
This band of brothers they are engaged in warm conversations about society and how it all should be.
Comrades of life talking about the unpleasant changes of circumstances and fortune.
They are enjoying each others’ company and attempting to find solace.
“Our bus is here!”, my wife tells me and we pick up the pace, leaving behind a scenario worthy of meaningful attention.
We find some of our colleagues already inside and we shift our awareness to the issues of a much younger generation.
They don’t dwell on the past. They are focused on the future, on how to get a better life.
The two generations they have something in common though. They both wish for a change.
“Get off your seat, press the stop button and driver, please do slam on those brakes for we’ve arrived at work”, says the voice in my head as soon as I realize we have reached our destination.
The time as come now to focus on what worries our customers and how to surpass the challenges we encounter at the office.
It is a rather unique beat that we dance to throughout the remaining of the day.
Sometimes it might sound a lot like routine and that is quite a challenge per se.
I remember the reason why we are here and that puts a smile on my face. Determination comes along and does its duty.
I marvel at the character of my peers, each one of them with a formidable story to tell, and that adds value to the equation.
At the end of the day my wife and I, seating across the dinner table, talk about what we have experienced.
The funny thing about what I have described is that it could have easily taken place anywhere else in the world.
We currently face the same issues across the globe.
The people and the perspective.
It may seem all black and white but, believe me, there’s some color out there and it’s worth the search.
We must observe and interact.
My wife and I remember that it is all about living life one day at a time and add some spices to our journey: Passion, perseverance and resilience!
It is all that we need.
After all, little more than one year ago we were in Portugal and now we are in Greece!
Who knows what lies ahead?
Life is full of surprises.
I’ve said it before: All days are alike because they are different and that is just wonderful.
Off to bed now and hit the reset button… new memories wait us!
The journey continues…