Perhaps this is how old people see their life
We know the scars that exist in our past like poor roads full of holes.
There is a village close to mine, with a very motivating story in my mind. This small place with only about 200 habitats, has managed to help me see life in a different point of view. Perhaps in the view, a person that has lived all the years that make a life complete can see. Someone who can look at his life as something that has passed. Beautiful or miserable.
To see with my eyes, you will have to come with me to a small village of Balkans. The country is Greece, but the region is not a picturesque island of the Aegean or the Ionian Sea, you may dream to visit one day. Life here is difficult for people, most of them are poor working in the fields and the country is corrupted, making things harder for them. The name of this village is Stanos and you will never see it on the map of the places you must visit while in Greece.
We will also have to go back to the ’90s, when I was about 10 years, living in a village close to Stanos. We would pass this place with my dad driving the lovely old car of my childhood to get to the beautiful small city of the region to buy things for our shop and spend the day at the sea. The road was small and full of holes, making the trip difficult for both people and cars.
Every time we used to pass this village I used to think to myself how ugly and useless this village was. I remember telling my dad “How can people live here? There is nothing to do here! They have a small poor school, there is no place for kids to play. Are there even kids here? Why don’t people leave this place and move to a more beautiful place or a city?” My dad would always reply “This is where their home is. I am sure there are kids there and they are happy. This place is beautiful for those who love it”.
All I could see was a poor road full of holes, old houses most of them abandoned. In my mind, there was no place uglier than this. There was no view to enjoy, it was built on a mountain with no green trees, the mountain was full of small dry bushes. I had never got in the village and there was no interest for anyone to stop and see how it was like. You would only pass the road to get to the next place and you would definitely forget it as you passed the mountain and saw the view of the sea that was only 10 minutes from there.
The years passed and we arrived in 2010 safe and sound, or something like that. I moved to a city to study and some years later I bought my own car. To get home I had to take the same road, from the opposite direction this time and the same thoughts of my childhood came into my mind. Poor, ugly village. At least I like the song on the radio right now. In the meanwhile, a highway was built on the big mountain opposite the village, that made traveling for people much easier to places you once needed to stay overnight so as to visit.
A year ago, I moved to a bigger city, a city that is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Greece. And this time I had to drive through the highway so as to get there. I was excited! I said goodbye to my mum and took the big road to get to my new home fast.
As I got to the high mountain opposite the ugly village, I was shocked. I had the place on my left this time, and I didn't have to go through the village. I could see it from the high mountain, far away from me. And it was astonishingly beautiful. I stayed with my mouth open from surprise. The old houses were so beautifully built the one next to the other. The view I once couldn't see was a valley full of birds and water. The sun gave its beautiful beams on the mountain. And for me now, this is the most beautiful village on the whole trip home.
This shock played complicated games in my mind. When I was through this place it was like hell. I hated everything. But now that I saw the panoramic view of it, as a bird that flies away from there, it was one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen. Maybe this village of my childhood is like life itself?
As we walk through ugly situations, as we live through bad circumstances and places, we see life as ugly, difficult and miserable. When we have to see old abandoned houses every day in a road full of holes, we see the ugliness that has nothing to give to us. But if we work hard to build the modern highway on the high mountain of our lives, we will finally see that these old abandoned houses that you now see from far away, is what makes the view of today picturesque and beautiful.
Perhaps, a life that you now see as ugly, some years later will be the picturesque village of tomorrow that you once hated. All we need to do is work hard to build the modern highway on the high mountain so as to see the view from above. If we stay on the road with the holes and we just fix them, we will never know how much beautiful our village is.
We know the scars that exist in our past like poor roads full of holes. This has nothing to do with how we will see it tomorrow. The fact that you know that holes exist there, is what experience is about. You just need to drive on another road.
We are all in this together.