|Village of Archanes: poppyview.blogspot.com|
For almost three years now my country of residence has been the subject of much criticism due to its political turmoil and fiery financial mess. To say that Greece has made international headlines lately is an understatement. The country is dealing with a severe government debt crisis, fear of bankruptcy and extremely high levels of unemployment among many other critical matters that threaten its ability to remain in the Eurozone and any further repercussions that may arise if it fails to do so. There is a constant feeling of insecurity, anxiety and despair that continues to plague its people with each new day. Not surprisingly, this is difficult for Greeks, who are commonly characterized as vivacious and generally cheerful folks.
Overwhelmed by afflictive austerity measures, they have had to reassess their budgets with respect to more serious necessities like food and shelter, in addition to less pressing, but equally important matters like social outlets, namely entertainment, fashion and travel. In the process, many have acquired a newfound respect for the simple things in life that bring people joy and satisfaction; something their genuinely wise ancestors before them truly understood and appreciated.
And so, many modern Greeks today have permanently taken to the old-fashioned traditions of the countryside to put into practice their newly adapted philosophies of the simple life and what that entails. An increasingly large amount have started growing their own produce, some are relocating to little hamlets to try their hand at farming professionally, while others are downsizing in general.
But amidst all this chaos and change there is one aspect of Greece and its people that remains constant, and that is the security and comfort of home. Whether this is perceived as one’s own private residence, a relative’s house, or a friend’s hideaway, it is a place that provides shelter from any threatening forces, be they the erratic emotions of the elements or the heavy strains of everyday existence.
1. A structure that provides privacy and protection from danger.[Wordnet]
2. Protective covering that provides protection from the weather.[Wordnet]
3. The condition of being protected.[Wordnet]
4. A way of organizing business to reduce the taxes it must pay on current earnings.[Wordnet]
5. Temporary housing for homeless or displaced persons.[Wordnet]
6. That which covers or defends from injury or annoyance; a protection; a screen.[Websters]
7. One who protects; a guardian; a defender.[Websters]
8. The state of being covered and protected; protection; security.[Websters]
The images that follow are a collection of structures that all have the ability to provide us with what we usually refer to as ‘shelter’. Many are also considered places of prayer, safe retreats from danger, resources of energy or venues for work. From exploring labyrinth-like caves and resting under florally blanketed cafes, to the solace felt in secluded churches or the security attained from hard-working windmills, all the featured images are of Crete, my adopted home land, my rural respite from the confines of the capital, an island steeped in 5000 years of history. A magical place, where mythical creatures roamed in and out of reality, discovering truths that mortals still believe in today!
|Crete: A Country Quilt: From far left: Our neighbouring village: poppyview.blogsot.com, Psiloriti Mountains: heattoheart.worpress.com, Oustide Anogeia: poppyview.blogsot.com|
|Far left and right: Vosakou Monastery: poppyview.blogspot.com., churches literally everywhere! Left: flickr.com, Right: panoramio.com|
|Port at Chania: booking.isopensource2.com|
|From left: Chania, old town: flickriver.com, Village Kafeneion: beeinnet-travel.blogspot.com, Archanes: poppyview.blogspot.com|
|An eclectic means of shade and shelter from the midday sun: poppyview.blogspot.com|
|The Palace of Knossos, Heraklion. From left: freakingnews.com, kalamaki-travel.gr,|
|From left: A mitato, used for protection against the elements when making cheese or tending to the herd: pierreseche.chez-alice.fr, lighthouse: www.concierge.com, windmills of Lasithi: travelingclassrom.org|
|A pretty gated courtyard in Archanes: poppyview.blogspot.com|