Orion buckled his belt and, with his gigantic legs spread out in a straddle and his eyes eternally scintillating, he set off for another journey on the highways of the Athenian sky. The last remnants of sunset’s fuchsia were flurried away towards the island of Salamis. Some of the ancient marble ruins in the Acropolis area whispered their concluding lines before getting blanketed by night, others livened up on their pedestals illuminated by fame and lights alike, and young couples concealed their protracted kisses in the mystery of the twilight.
I meandered through the insular alleys of Anafiotika, whiffing the silk in the scent of the gazia trees, their honey-golden blossoms invisible in the dusk. The shacks of the neighborhood, humble and old, slanting against the sacred Rock of Athens, were silent: rickety shutters tightly shut, benches and chairs deserted outside locked doors, clay pots with flowers and basils trimly lined up next to whitewashed walls and stairs. A few scattered street lanterns placed under the protection of antefixes – little more than candle flames in a somber sanctuary – were whispering in faded amber hues. And everything was holy, for the grace of Goddess Athena was cascading from her temple overhead, and the rock itself, emerging not just from above and around but even from within the modest constructions, exhaled energy that was healing and invigorating at the same time.