Tag Archives: new house in Paxos

In praise of (dappled) shadows and light

Like every Italian I have a passion for vistas and light.

Therefore, when, in welcoming our family to her place on the Greek island of Paxos, my friend told us we would sleep in the main house which has a 180 degrees view on the Mediterranean, while she would stay in the little house deep in the olive grove, I thanked her for being, as usual, the most generous and unselfish hostess. When she insisted that she actually prefers the house with no view, I was sure this was plainly a white lie: of course everybody would prefer the uninterrupted view of the sea, of the light of the red and purple sunsets and of the star studded night sky!
But then…

..she told me how much she likes the golden light filtering through the branches of the trees – these are wild and overgrown olive trees, planted centuries ago by the Venetians who conquered this part of Greece, not the small, gnarled olivi of Tuscany and Puglia – , how she loves the silvery tones of the leaves’ canopy in the evening and the sound of the wind, gently rustling them.
… then I noticed the dappled shadows on the ground and how its pattern overlaps the texture of dry leaves and small rocks on the ground. I felt the presence of the sea, beyond the trees and did not mind I could not see it.
… then, in the dim light, the texture of the dry walls and of the tree trunks and of the branches against the sky all showed so clear, like in an etching.
I picked up my camera and tried to capture all this, all the way thinking that she is really a special friend.