Before my kids were in high school, they loved to brag that they had been to every continent except Antarctica. None of us have gotten there yet. But I wonder: if you could travel to anywhere, where would you go?
I might go back to Rome because I loved the narrow streets leading to fountains and sculptures with great food everywhere. I feel a tug to return to Mattu Pitchu, the Incan city sheltered by steep mountains. But Greece pulls me hard.
There is nothing as blue as the sky and water of that land. Travelling by boat along the coast you are constantly struck by the shapes of rock and hill. And the water is so warm, it invites the swimmer.
We know from the study of history, that each of the ancient cities had an acropolis, a hill crowned with temples. But all across the landscape, there are mountains. Rolling hills in the south and steep barriers in parts of the north. Many are still green with lush forests, though some have been logged and burned over the generations.
In every city, we feel that we are walking on history. In an Athens subway station, there is a glassed in wall which shows the layers of story that the builders dug through. And often, we turn a corner and find a hollow where archeologists uncovered someone’s home or business. We expect to see the great pillars of the Parthenon in Athens and the walls of the famous buildings, but more interesting to me are these glimpses into a distant past.
Strolling down a street or along any river feels like walking in a story. Centaurs are not myths, but creatures who walk a hill we have not been to. Gods and goddesses could return tomorrow. Who knows who you may meet around the next corner. It is the place where I found the story that I tell in Moon of the Goddess, the tale of a princess, her kidnap and her rescue.