We all have a place, a place that maybe we’ve been to one too many times over the course of our lives, a place that holds too many dark memories, or maybe just one. Maybe somewhere we’ve been once but never want to return. It can be a home, a city, a street corner.
My place is an island, actually a little village on an island, which over past 30 years has grown into a vibrant tourist town. I spent endless summer vacations there as a child, at 18 swore to never return,Â and for most of my 30s, lured by friends, found myself living strange moments on its shores, after which I made myself and adult promise to wipe it off my mental and spiritual map.
It’s called Paros, the town is Naoussa, and it may well be one of the most beautiful spots in the Greek Cyclades.
After six years of sticking to my promise, I suddenly missed the island’s crazy winds, its encompassing crystal waters, its winding roads, its sounds, its breath. Vic and I packed our carry-ons and set out to what could have been the worst vacation from our family vacation.
Only nothing was bad. We spent four days carousing, sleeping, eating delicious food. I knew its every nook and cranny, it was like coming home after a decade in a foreign land. The beauty that I’d taken for granted, disregarded, distracted by things internal, screamed at me, I walked around like a stupefied tourist turning everything I saw into a memory on my phone.
The darkness was gone, yet nothing had changed.
Except me. I’d let go of the past. And when darkness disappears, only light can remain. And it’s refreshingly blinding.