Today, June 27th, 2020, my dear husband Christian and I are sitting at our favorite inn “Apollonia” in Aktio – and enjoy a sumptuous Greek and English breakfast.
How is that possible?
Well – there is the phenomenon of time gaps – and today there is one: Our beautiful Freespirit gets a new underwater ship hull protection and is sandblasted at the moment. The professionals have taken over. The welding work was completed yesterday and all the holes are tight again and the through hull fittings have been renewed or closed. Gifted time – a time gap.
And we jump directly to the other holes – rust holes. A normal condition when steel is exposed to weather. Just not ideal for a steel ship. So, intensive inspection was the order of the day, time-consuming and nerve-wracking: what will we discover?
We took the time to put our beauty through its paces and our nerves were made of steel ;-).
Christian’s magic hammer found every plate that was too thin, no rust spot could hide. That’s why there are new holes in the ship. After initial horror on my side and astonishment on Christian’s part, we got to know the different qualities of rust and also learned to assess them. That calmed my nerves and we were able to measure the outer skin during the welding work and what we discovered makes us confident.
Research and tips have led us to very good steel protection, which is used in professional shipping. And now we know how we will treat the inner and outer hull further on to protect the steel in the long term. Starting next week, more projects are to be done: drinking water system renovated and reconnected, bilge pumps overhauled, new navigation system installed, deck area above the owner’s cabin renovated, new anchor winch installed to be able to lift our new 120m chain and revitalizing electrical installations, and whatever else arises occasionally. Well – and of course sail and engine check! – All in one month, because we Tidls want to be in the water by the end of July at the latest.
Ambitious? Yes, with enthusiasm!
Now I scurry through a wormhole and make a jump in time – I love this in the stories I tell. So I can jump straight to the beginning of today:
Our day started with the alarm clock ringing at 6:00 a.m.
After a good cup of strong coffee and the last preparations, we waited for the pick-up team and enjoyed a nice and quiet morning. Our cat was not yet suspicious of what will happen and strolled lazily along the railing. When passing us, she let’s us crawl her and continued on her watch walk with pleasure. Everything was peaceful, in the Marina it was still calm, the gentle morning wind played around our noses, we stare into the air with a smile.
At this point, we were already visited by Kairos, who is a dear companion for the day.
One of the nice sides of the Greek way of life is the attitude to two qualities of time: Chronos and Kairos.
We in Central Europe know time as the pace maker of our life – comparable to Chronos, who eats his children – the relentless course of time in one direction without the possibility of a return. Everyone is panting in this rhythm, which is felt to become faster and faster, and recognize no stillness, no pause, no way to get out of the eternal wheel of time.
Kairos stands for a different quality of time: the quality of the right time, the enjoyment of the same, the merging into the here and now.
In order to meet Kairos, conscious pause is necessary. Interestingly, a need often turns us to this opportunity. Usually we only slow down when life forces us to take a break. And that is defined as a threat and not an opportunity: what am I doing with this wasted time when I have soooo much else to do !!!
If we are already very exhausted, we gratefully use this time off to sleep unscoldedly and to regenerate a bit without a guilty conscience, so that we can continue to “function” with maximum performance.
But sometimes the miracle, that Kairos has in store for us, happens – at that moment a sparrow settles on a branch less than 2m away from me and chirps a beautiful story. I listen to him and his variety of melodies, his chirping with others of his kind and am ecstatic … pause. A gift of life, I didn’t know that sparrows sing so many different melodies … and he’s gone, I continue to write with a smile ;-):
We pick up a book that we have wanted to read for a long time, we experience our surroundings anew, because we look at things with a different perspective, we think about what is really important to us, we clear out, decide what is still relevant in our life and what’s not. – an act of liberation, ease and bliss.
Kairos gives us the opportunity to let go and thereby achieve serenity. A state that we so often wish for, especially in the hectic pace of everyday’s life.
But Kairos comes quietly and gently, it is not as rumbling as Chronos, which pushes us ahead. Therefore, he is often not heard and not seen, not perceived and felt.
Only pausing gives us the opportunity to recognize and get to know him.
Today is a Kairos kind of time for us – we get involved into the flow of time and let ourselves be surprised by what the day will bring….
At the moment we are still sitting in a beautiful garden surrounded by colourful greenery, oleander blooms in rich pink, palm leaves wave gently in the midday breeze, the afternoon of a faun begins slowly. Christian surprises me with a glass of sparkling wine: “Happy anniversary, sweetheart” – life at it’s best!