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There’s a ‘less-known’ film about Greece called ‘The Tempest,’ that came out in 1981.  Brilliant film-maker John Cassavetes created this masterful interpretation of Shakespeare’s play by the same name, and put his own Greek twist on the tale, starring his wife, Raul Julia, Susan Sarandon, and a young Molly Ringwald. While John Cassavetes’ character is facing a midlife crisis in the beginning of the film, he visits his immigrant father outside a deli in New York.  The father listens to the son’s troubles, and then insightfully advises….”Go to Greece. Watch the grapes grow.”  The quote, like the movie has stayed with me always. The movie – because of it’s breathtakingly beautiful scenery of Greece – the islands, the sunsets, the rural enchantment of our ancestral land. You can smell the goats – which isn’t always a good thing, but that’s how ‘in Greece’ Cassavetes puts his audience. However, the line from the old man says so much in few words. As today’s stressful life has us on the g0-go-go, the essence of making a conscious choice to STOP and appreciate the beautiful world we live in carries immeasurable value. To ‘Go to Greece and watch the grapes grow” is to breathe, and then to exhale, and then to remember a little bit about who we are, and appreciate what we have while maybe formulating a new plan to make our lives an even greater version of what we had planned.  Two summers ago I sat in Vassara’s platia every summer morning, at my cousin Taki’s Cafe Rythmos, where the most challenging decision I had to make was how to take my coffee. I sat with my notebook and soaked in the beautiful mountains of Parnonas before me, their giant green caps reaching high to the heavens.  There I would slowly sip my coffee, make a few jokes with my cousin, greet villagers who knew my grandmother, and  jot down a few ideas for my novel.  I’d imagine the life my ancestors lived and appreciate the surroundings they were blessed to call ‘home.’ Sure, we can’t  live like that all the time, and maybe we wouldn’t like it if we tried. For a while though – even for a short period of time, let us STOP and ‘watch the grapes grow. It’s amazing how a small taste of solace can allow our souls to ripen.