I’ve just met my beautiful god-daughter-to-be for the first time after so many trans-Atlantic FaceTimes and WhatsApp videos.
Xenia is my Aunt Katina’s (my mom’s sister) granddaughter. Her entire family has gathered in Hania from the UK and Australia.
We are here, where it all began for our family… where our mothers were born and raised— and the place they left in the 1960s to start their new lives in the USA and Australia.
This Saturday, I’ll have the honor of baptizing this beautiful young girl who’s come all the way from London, together with the rest of her entire family from Sydney.
This is the circle of life, in so many ways— they left, they started their own families far away, but always remaining connected to this sacred piece of land that became a part of our psyche and consciousness.
Both my mother in Pittsburgh, as well as my aunt in Sydney, made sure that Crete and her history and heritage remained a part of our lives both at home, or during our periodic summer visits.
Crete remained in our hearts. And here we are, decades later… back in Crete again, this time with offspring— in whom we hope to instill the same respect and love of this place and the bonds of family that our parents instilled in us.
Incidentally, the photo was taken outside my cousin George’s hotel, which was once my father’s family home in the “palia poli” or old town of Hania.