Saturday, June 4, 2022

A Magical Welcome Home to the Beauty of Greece




On Tuesday, I left New York for my return home to the Greek island of Mykonos. But this post isn’t about Mykonos. It’s about a much smaller island less than a mile from Mykonos that served as the birthplace of the god of light and remains at the core of a circle of islands that once hosted the crossroads of trade for the ancient world. 


But it’s eons since the birth of Apollo, two and a half millennia beyond its glory days of commerce, and 2000 years since the island heart of this Cycladic chain was obliterated from the face of the earth and its 20,000 residents slaughtered or sold into slavery in retribution for backing the wrong protector.  


Over the ensuing centuries a succession of plunderers, foreign and domestic, made off with its treasures and the small, razed island came to serve as little more than a source of building materials and hunting grounds for surrounding islanders.  In 1872 things began to change. The French School of Archeology started excavations and today it represents the most varied collection of ruins in all of Greece, conveying to visitors a sense of eternal spirituality that no doubt was what made it second only to Delphi in sacred importance to the ancients.


That island is Delos.  I don’t live there.  No one is allowed to live there (except to protect it), or for that matter to be born or die there.  The Athenians decided in 425 BC to purify Apollo’s birthplace and removed all graves to the nearby island of Rhenia, which as of today remains virtually uninhabited and inexorably linked to Delos in the hearts of Mykonians.


To me, Delos represents the essence of the region’s incredible light, the unmatched beauty of its sea, and an omnipresent energy that does its ancient gods proud.


I am far from alone in this deep fascination with the inescapable spirituality of Delos.  For decades efforts to preserve and utilize its magical presence have brought the arts to its shores. On May 30th, the day before I left for Greece, Delos served as the stunning open-air backdrop for a very special performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by the European Union Youth Orchestra, violinist Diana Tischenko, and Greek lyre virtuoso Sokratis Sinopoulos.


But rather than describe it, allow me to offer you this live streamed YouTube beauty of a concert sponsored by ARTE, a European Public Service channel dedicated to culture.


Trust me, it’s worth it. Enjoy.







  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for keeping such great care of the place while we've been away, J&J.