Day 12 of 27. What is Nostalgia to you?
When thinking of this feeling of deep longing, I always refer to a specific part of a poem written by the Greek poet C. P Cavafy in 1911.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.
It all starts with a pull. A tug in your heart and mind towards a place that you love, a place that you miss, the aromas that bring you to a certain afternoon with a coffee and the smell of jasmine floating trough the air. It’s the longing for your home; the familiar; the place that we all leave and sometimes take years to go back to. Yet the journey away is far more important than the return. The journey changes you, and even though you cling to images of your past and aromas that make you yearn for the things you miss the most; the journey away from all that you love, can and does change you for the better. Nostalgia is a deep pain that no matter how many places I’ve been, how many trips I take and how many places I’ve lived; it is as strong as the first day I left my home. I look at images of Athens and I just can feel the spring breeze wafting through the eucalyptus tree in my grandmother’s garden at 4pm after a siesta. I remember the feeling of the water after a long summer swim. There is no water like the Mediterranean sea and that is the smell of Nostalgia for me.
Nostos- Longing to return / Going toward the place you love
Algos- The sweet pain of separation from that place.
What does Nostalgia mean to you?