DO PLACES CHANGE OR DO WE?

I arrived to this little village in the south of Crete over three weeks ago. As my husband and I continue to search for where to live, I wondered if this could be the place. Though lovely enough as a beach resort, all crucial for me in a potential home: the chance to find friends, community, a venue to play music, a way to be of service ­– in living a more spiritually-based existence, the idea of giving service is paramount – and of course (the most important part that keeps me sane) places to dance, didn’t seem here.

The first days, ever eager, I did meet some of the ex-pats living here. And what they told me was this: “If you want to be in this town, then find a way to be on your own. If it is community you search, you won’t find that here! Good luck,” they said in lieu of kindness.

But then my husband found a charming, helpful and incredibly cheap physical therapist here. He had a bad accident some months ago, and his injured shoulder refused to heal. Though I am an experienced Alexander Technique practitioner, and have helped numerous others with the same problem, it’s not so easy to work on one’s spouse. I advised him to stay, that together with my hands-on and the physical therapy, it was a good chance to get well, that the time here, albeit away from my cherished ingredients would be good for writing. And so we’ve stayed here soon a month.

Indeed, not having most of my requirements met, gave a surprising sense of time and freedom. The writing has gone well. And the strangest thing – by not having what I thought I needed, life has crept inside anyhow. Many nights, just walking the colorful streets in Paleochora, with all the street musicians – and some are very good – I found myself dancing to their music.

A few nights ago, I was invited by a lovely Scottish woman who runs a guesthouse and restaurant and does a lovely Sat. evening dinner to come and dance! The musicians already knew me and smiled happily to see me, as I seem the only visitor who actually knows Greek dancing. The evening was a huge success, and at the end, many people (who had also gotten up to dance, as I wasn’t there to do a show, but create atmosphere) thanked me for giving them this chance. “Just the fact that you dared to get up and dance, and that you knew how, gave us someone to follow and the courage to follow you! It was a great night – thank you!”

So you just never know when the life you’ve been trying so hard to find, finds you!

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