It’s 5:14 PM and I’m on a ferry cruising from Athens towards the Cycladic Island Chain to bring us to the island of Paros, where I’ll be giving the second European Yoga Retreat for 2013. I won’t write too much – I’m much too aware of where I am, of the rolling Mediterranean waves on either side of me, and of the silhouettes of islands rolling by in their salt-and-sun obscured haze.
I’m back in Greece. I’ve come home again. Back to where I first got the nudge from the universe I had asked for back in 2008, when I decided to chuck it all in and leave my career behind because I wasn’t happy with or proud of how I was earning a living. Greece is the one spot in the world where I feel most connected to my spirit. It’s where I feel most connected to rawness of the elements, and where I feel my body exhale and let go of all tensions, more so than at any other time or in any other place.
I’m with Stephane, James and Katie. We landed together and spent our day together, transferring from Athens Airport to the Rafina Port, assuming that the 6 hours we had between arriving and departing for Paros would be taxing. It’s always a test in staying conscious after flying overnight. That first day after a break in the typical sleep cycle is always peppered with sensory overload…squinting at the light that’s just a tad too bright, shrinking from the noise of the foreign sounds that seem to follow you wherever your path leads you. The assumption that today would be a challenge was unfounded. We caught the shuttle bus to the port easily, chowed down on a Greek salad that reminded us what REAL tomatoes, olives and feta cheese was, and then dragged our luggage the 50 metres to the beach. Clothes hurriedly flew off our bodies, and we launched ourselves into the ocean…and time stood still. It was a perfect moment. One to wash off the residue of the flight, one in which the others tasted their first drop of vacation, and yet another one for me in which I found myself tasting the salt of the sea as my body floated weightless, thinking, “I am at work.”
We splashed around for another hour and then walked back to where the ferry picked us up, and here we are, flying through the magnificence that is the Mediterranean towards our home for the next 11 days. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone together, to seeing the faces of those from past retreats, as well as those whose faces I’ve never seen.