Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Vrochi (rain)

The Greek government decided to build desalination plants for drinking water on at least 13 islands. This will be the solution for the driest islands. Last year Cyprus had to be saved from a sincere drought by a ‘water bridge’: water was brought to the island by big tankers (for the Turkish part they are building a pipeline from Turkey).

Lesvos is not on the list of the driest islands. Maybe during a very hot summer in high season the water is closed off some parts of the day. Plomari however always gets quicker into the problems. So they built a huge reservoir in the mountains, but since years the works to finish it have stopped because there was no money anymore. This winter the mayor of Plomari restarted to harass the responsible minister in Athens who promised money, but the money never came. Let us hope that we see the lake finished in the coming years. About the not functioning reservoir in Molyvos there is no news.

Anyhow, we do not have to worry for the next summer on the island. It rained that much this winter (that even is not finished) that all rivers are full with water, little streams running merrily in waterfalls from the mountains and a lot of fields are under water. The adjustments at the estuaries and the cleaning of the river-beds of the last years have proven to be successful because when for two days it was raining cats and dogs, there were no announcements about floods, like it was the case after the torrents from heaven in October 2006 that caused more than one flood on the island.

People who suffer from a winter depression had a hard time here on Lesvos, because the sun was seldom to be seen and when it did not rain, somewhere at the sky-line there always were lead colored or pitch black skies that held the promise with more rain.

The optimistic people however could look through those menacing skies: all variations of the colors of pink, white and purple of the anemones are now coloring the green grasses and the almond trees are proudly showing their masses of rose flowering blossoms. Even the hard southern storms of last week did not manage to blow the flowers away.

Zeus, who is amongst others responsible for the rain, was in a very bad mood this winter. Where were for example the Alcyonides Days, mister Zeus, that you create each year so that Alcyone and Ceyx have all the quietness to brood over their offspring? Alcyone and Ceyx were so happy they called themselves Hera and Zeus, what made Zeus that angry that he sent a storm to drown Ceyx, and then Alcyone was so sad that she jumped into the sea. But the gods got mercy on them and changed them into a pair of halcion birds (kingfisher). Since then the Alcyonides Days are a period in January with a calm sea, high temperatures and sun (see Alcyonides Days), a period when everybody changes back into summer clothes and gathers on the terraces in the warm sun in order to make plans for the coming summer. I do hope that Zeus will get under the spell of the unfolding spring and will create some warm days, but the weather forecasts are still only talking about rains to come.

It is a capricious God, this Zeus. Thousands of years ago, in the bronze era, a king offered his son to Zeus. This cruel deed made Zeus so angry that he decided to flood the world. He opened the floodgates of heaven and for nine days it poured down. Deacalion, son of Prometheus, got warned on time by his father and he build a boat that saved him and his wife Pyrrha from the floods. The boat stranded on top of the Mount Parnassus (close to Delphi) and so they survived. (It is said as well that they stranded on the Etna in Sicily, the Mount Athos in Chaldiki or the Mount Othrys in Thessaly).

When the water started to get down, Deucalion thanked Zeus and asked the oracle of Themi how he could repopulate the world. The oracle answered that he had to throw the bones of his mother over his shoulders. Deucalion and Pyrrha understood that those must be the stones of mother earth (Gaia) and so they threw stones over their shoulders and from the stones Deucalion threw men came and from the stones Pyrrha threw women came.

This story of creation is a lot the same as the biblical story of Noah and his ark. Only Deucalion and Pyrrha did not save any animals. Will this be one of the reasons that the Greeks are not always so nice for the animals...

No comments:

Post a Comment