Like the Good Old Days
Now that the almond trees have blossomed, donning their white and pink dresses, and now that spring officially arrives on March 21st, I can’t help but reminisce about my grandmother. March is dedicated exclusively to her memory and all the things we used to do together during this season, up until Easter.
You see, I would move for a month and a half to my grandmother Panagiota’s house. I adored the large almond tree that adorned her beautiful yard. Thus, every time it bloomed, I longed to be in the small additional room and gaze at it for hours on end through the large window.
Looking at the yard from the window, I felt as if someone had painted the landscape on a canvas. The floor, with its elaborate traditional marble in floral designs, decorated the space with grandeur and vibrancy. The colors of the cement tiles in dark green with touches of beige and burgundy gave a sense of peace to the whole scene. It was as if a whole meadow lay before you, and you seemed too small to see its end with your eyes.
A magical dizziness overwhelmed you if you continued to look at the same spot for a long time. It was dreamy for me then. You immediately entered the labyrinth of the flower design, feeling like Alice in Wonderland. It is indeed a miracle that someone can handcraft all these traditional marbles, one by one, and make them identical to each other.
A little further to the right, in a small corner, stood my grandmother’s freshly whitewashed oven. There, she made her steaming cookies and filled the neighborhood with their fragrance.
Next to it prominently was the scene with blooming flowers of all kinds. Everything your mind could imagine in color, you could see there! In front of this splendid oasis of colors and scents, there was the famous table that my grandfather had made with whatever pieces of traditional marble were left when they laid the floor in the yard. Don’t imagine it was new. It had many years on it too. But it seemed as if it had been polished and shined that very moment, especially when the sun’s rays fell strongly upon it, it was as if the flowers in the design bloomed and rose to the surface. Grandmother said that as the years passed, it would only get better; it wouldn’t dull or break, and so my grandfather’s hard work and craftsmanship would pass from generation to generation. A sacred heirloom for the family! Our heritage!
Right in front of this spot, Grandmother Panagiota and Mari, the neighbor, would sit. Every afternoon at 5, they had their little rendezvous, chatting together with the accompanying treats that filled the table.
Only two steps away from this magnificent setting was the enormous blooming bride, my almond tree, my snow-white, as I called it. It blossomed and the place turned white! Beneath its shade was my swing. It was tied with long ropes from the highest branch. Its seat was also made of the same traditional marble, only on top of it, I had placed the embroidered cushion that my grandmother had made for me, to sit comfortably.
This was my own true painting. The painting that remained empty all year round, to come alive again in the spring. The almond tree blossomed, illuminating the masterful yard floor, and creating its own richly colored canvas.
How can I forget these memories, how can I forget how authentic everything was then, just like the traditional marble that was laid from one end of the yard to the other. My grandmother may no longer be here, but the legacy and memories she left me remain unchanged.
If God ever grants me the opportunity to build my own house, I will create such a yard. Traditional marble everywhere and many almond trees. White and pink, for March to come and my soul to blossom!
Like the good old days!
Unique and indescribable…