This is a rather long story, but to me, worth being told and read! So, give yourself a little time...
In the doorway of the pastoral Monasterio Perivolís, located on the way to Sigri, stands a very close friend of mine, Rolf, The Pathfinder! He has been visiting Lesvos almost as many times that I have, but with a few major differences. He is sometimes a better ouzo drinker than I am and he knows "each and every" village worth knowing on the island! And they are many. He knows their background history as well! I have always felt like his apprentice! We have taken many trips together on our motor bikes and I never know where we will end up when out on the roads.
This is the story of a remarkable village that is not even marked on my big Lesvos map! In newer editions, it is. The village is called Tzithra. The dirt road leading to it, lives up to it's name!
What makes it so special? It has three holy buildings, representing three faiths, Christian, Islamic and Jewish...the Christian church is the only one intact, the others are ruins. What importance did this village once had? A rhetorical question, meaning I have no answer. Rolf met a very kind local man and asked him if we could visit the church.
"You have to get hold of Kyría Nikoleta. She is not here, but pull that rope. It will make the bells ring and then she will come in a while. I do not know where she is, she could be anywhere! So have patience"!
We pulled and pulled and after a while she came. We greeted each other and she took out the keyes from the pocket of her frock and opened the church door for us. She was so shy in front of these strange looking fellows and I hardly dared looking at her. I felt like a little school boy!
But I saw her eyes, like those of a squirrel's, with a kindness and a glimpse that really took me off guard! I asked her (I remember that I whispered) if I could take a photo of her and she showed a body language of a very young girl's and said "of me, why?" I am honestly not sure that she had ever seen a camera before. I broke the silence and we laughed together and I took a few pictures and my heart was beating like crazy...I was only lucky that I had an OK aperture and light!
She is still often on my mind, pretty and wonderful Lady Nikoleta! Her kindness and humility were more than I had ever experienced before. She symbolized the very beauty of extraordinary simplicity.....
|Rolf at Monasterio Perivolís, peace and tranquility|
|"Pull the rope and let the bells ring. Kyría Nikoleta will come"!|
|Humility personified, kyría Nikoleta!|
|Shy but with a smile that made many days for me...|
|Where is the story behind all this?|