Monday, 28 August 2006

Falling stars

Greece is a country of sun, sea and many islands which are the playgrounds of the wind. That is why we have to wonder why Germany, a country not really known for its sunny days, produces far more solar energy than Greece. And that such a small country as Denmark produces a lot more wind energy than all those thousands of Greek islands and the mainland, which is a pretty big surface.

The Greek electricity system is a little outdated and each time a peak is expected, like high Summer Season or like two years ago for the Olympic Games, many a Greek is afraid the whole system will collapse when there are so many foreigners visiting their country.

On Lesvos this high season passed without too many problems. We only had a blackout a few times, although the water supply got a nasty shock from it. Even though Lesvos has some flapping windmills between Antissa and Eresos, these cannot provide enough electricity for the whole island.

I am used to it. Candles are always ready, just as a torch has its place right next to the front door. The high season is over. As well as the high temperatures in the heat wave: they went a little bit lower and today the temperature even dipped below 30°C. But still something went wrong with the electricity and the island was pitch black again last night.

Probably more than once the Turks on the other side of the sea will have a good laugh about the island. Their lights continue to twinkle and in all the years I have lived here on Lesvos I've never caught them with a 'blackout', an English word that the Greeks now frequently use.

Yesterday night I missed the open fire that spreads such warm light when the electricity blacks out in winter time. The blackout yesterday evening gave me a good opportunity to look at the stars. The month of August is well known for its falling stars and in the two hours I stared at the twinkling lights in the heavens I saw seven falling. And I made the same wish seven times, so I'm pretty sure my wish will come true.

I know that a falling star is a meteor falling through our atmosphere before it disappears. In ancient times such natural phenomena were explained by myths. Asteria, which means star in Greek, is also the Goddess of falling stars, of oracles and of visionary dreams. When Zeus once bothered her, she escaped him by jumping from heaven into the sea on earth. There she transformed herself into an island, the island that is now known as Delos (next to Mykonos). After this Asteria's sister Letos put her son Apollo on this island.

Another story about falling stars is that at such a moment the Gods are curious to see what is going on beneath them on earth. They open a bit of the firmament to peep through it and sometimes a star escapes that will fall down. This is the right moment to make a wish, because you know then that the Gods are close and looking at you.

The ancient Greeks believed that these falling meteors were human souls travelling to and from the stars. The ancient Jews and Christians thought they were falling angels or demons.

I sometimes think: if it is right that the wish you make comes true if you see a falling star... How many wishes could you make? Yesterday night I saw seven falling stars in two hours. Calculate for yourself how many stars will fall in one month! If all those wishes came true, I am sure that the world would be a happier place.

It is not that I complain about Lesvos. Well, they could make some improvements in managing their environment, or have more respect for animals... But those blackouts at least make sure that something is happening on the island. As you can see, this week I have nothing special to report.

There is even no news about the Anatoli restaurant. Except that a lot of people from all over the world sent very supportive mails. This week they are handing over a petition to the mayor. Let's hope that Angelos (the owner of Anatoli) sometimes has the time to watch the merry stars. And that he believes that the Gods can do something, so that he will not forget to make his wish, seeing a falling star...

Copyright © Smitaki 2006

No comments:

Post a Comment