The contrast could not be more complete. One helpful, clarifying, and insightful conversation versus a scowling frown used as receipt for car keys. There was no rationale logic; however, the message in both cases was very clear.
Maria stopped by to see how we were settling into the Hallassas Penthouse. Before visions of grandeur settle in your mind, please understand that the term “penthouse” was strictly because of the fact that this apartment was on top of the other. Two rooms plus one and a half baths with three windows does not constitute a luxurious penthouse in my book! On the other hand, the fact that we had a quiet, clean, and functional living space in a Greek mountain village with a shared pool still brings pleasant memories. Maria’s knowledge of places to visit, food options, and local customs took away our uncertainty and fear. The conversation was fun and insightful. I came away from it knowing that she, on behalf of those she knew, had welcomed our family to Crete with her blessings for a fun, relaxing, and enjoyable visit.
I am not sure what her name is, however the message was clear. My instructions were to return the rental car to the parking lot with the tank three quarters full and give the keys to the parking lot attendant. I was a bit early, but she could not have known that. My bright hello went unanswered and my thanks met with a deep and intense frown. I tried to keep things light but it was hard not to respond with an equal sense of gloom.
I leave Chania with Maria’s blessing. Her wish for our time here was full of promise which was more than met by the people, food, sun, fun at the beach, and exploring the old cities. I wonder how often I am the nameless gloom in another’s life. Today I walk with a fresh commitment to be a gift in another’s journey.
“Irresponsible talk makes a real mess of things, but a reliable reporter is a healing presence.” (Proverbs 13.17)