Legacy and survival

Sometimes, when I think of my mountain village that I am coming from (Skiadas) and my early years there, I feel very sad that I didn’t continue the people’s legacy there. No, I don’t mean their uncanny ability to gossip about one another all day long, but their ability to survive up there without a need from the external world. They are able to have their own gardens and fields and know by heart the needs of each and every vegetable or plant or tree, how to herd, hunt and how to unskin animals to feed themselves, how to make cheese and other milk products etc etc. Every generation that gets closer to the european civilization is losing some part of that legacy. Even my parents, now at their 50s, don’t know as much stuff as my grand parents do about how to survive at to the mountains. And I know much less than they do.

The weird thing is that very often (at least once a month) I have the same dream: the world has been under a sort of attack or totalitarianism and I had to retreat with my family (without JBQ) to my mountain village, to protect ourselves. During the Nazi regime in the 1940s and previously when Greece were under the Turks for 400 years, my village has seen very little of these forces, exactly because of its difficult location to get there. No one cared to go konquer these people up on these mountains, it made no strategic or financial sense to do so. And so I have embedded in me this need, that when worse comes to worst, I will retreat up to the mountains and live there. But I will need the knowledge of how to survive there, a knowledge that I don’t have ’cause I exchanged the mountain life for the planes when I was 12 (my parents now also live in a town close to the sea) and after college I left Greece for Europe and now USA. Is it my “guilty” concience for leaving my mountain land, my home, that makes me see the same dream over and over, or something really bad is coming to the world indeed and I will have no other alternative but to go back there eventually?

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