The first three days at Kapyssis Beach House are all to our selves. The incredible silence is only broken by the bleating of goats in the pasture behind us, the light lap of the sea before us, and the call-to-prayer sound coming from a terrible speaker. It isn't a call to prayer, but instead the vegetable man calling the neighborhood to his truck to purchase vegetables and fresh fish. Like an ice cream truck.
When we order at one of the small restaurants lining the bay, the waiter, cook, and owner, leans over and says, "All the vegetables come from my garden."
His chubby two year old Adonis, comes to say goodnight. His mother, the waiter, cook and owner's wife says it is late and he needs his bath. When I say goodnight to Adonis in Greek, he grins at the recognition of his own language.
In the afternoon of the third day, our neighbors arrive, and they speak with the exuberance we have come to expect from the Big Fat Greek Wedding movies. They seem to be constantly in combative conversation. Soon they will fade into the other sounds we so love in this little house on the sea.
"Did you hear the horse?"
"Yes," Tony answers.
"The super-sized bee buzzing past my ear?"
Yet our sounds at the seaside villa wouldn't be our complete Greek experience without "Salam," or a child at the activity center say, "One more minute." And every time something is missing, our Middle Eastern friends shouting, "Ali Baba!" In the past week I have only heard "good," with a Dutch accent so it sounds like "Goot." For now, it only sounds proper when I too say "Goot."
I tend to think the most important link to memory is the visual, the photos, or the writing, that creates visual images in my mind. When I evoke memory through smell, it is most often unpleasant. Touch is vague, feelings are but a few. Sound however is strong, and best of all, it brings back the voices, the endearing words, of the people I love.
Not only do I feel intense gratitude for these senses, but that each one provides a unique way to store and relive memory.