The Sweetness of Figs

By Lisa Reily

July 9, 2018

The Sweetness of Figs

I am at home here like I have not been anywhere else in my life. Home in the heat of dripping fig trees, their treacle tears that drop-by-drop onto the dry ground, the sour smell of wine in the air. I love the lime-colored grapes that dangle in miniature bunches from the vines in our yard, the tortoise who eyes me each morning as he munches the leaves on our fence. I am weak for the wobble of his crepey neck as he eats, and wonder why I cannot love my own. 

I love the trees I do not recognize. Is this a pear, or an almond tree? I pick mint and basil, oregano and rosemary. I learn the names in Greek and even dry herbs for tea. I marvel at how I ever used a peppermint tea bag. I make jam from 'mousmoula' and figs, pour fruity concoctions over Greek yogurt, relish the sweetness of the homegrown tomatoes and olive oil gifted from our kindly neighbors. I curse the sun and float on the salty sea, its layers of lime and blue, a harmonious mix of warm, hot and icy cold. 

My enthusiasm abounds as I pack tahini and cucumber sandwiches, homemade ice-blocks and a bright summer umbrella. I love our walks to the empty beach, just before the heat wave, and later, the horde of Greek families who appear as soon as the sun becomes unbearable. 

I had thought I would feel lonely, away from everyone.

Comments (15) - Post a Comment
Well. I wonder if I'd go to Greece it would be as lovely as that first paragraph. I want a fig now and a fresh tomato and some hummus. Such lovely prose. Thanks for getting my day started so beautifully.
Linda Miller at 8:17am EDT - July 9, 2018
Congratulations, Lisa! Such wonderful images and smells and colour. The feeling is inviting, and calls on me to be there again. :)
Ion Corcos at 9:24am EDT - July 9, 2018
Thanks, Linda, for your lovely comment. Greece was indeed wonderful to me. I hope your day has continued beautifully. Lisa :)
Lisa Reily at 9:48am EDT - July 9, 2018
Thanks, Ion, for your kind words. I hope you are inspired to get back to Greece soon! Lisa :)
Lisa Reily at 9:50am EDT - July 9, 2018
I am weak for the wobble of his crepey neck as he eats and wonder why I cannot love my own. I love this phrase which so gently depicts the challenge of self acceptance.
Lynda at 10:19am EDT - July 9, 2018
I have yet to visit Greece, but feel as though I've experienced some of it through this story. And I want to grow my own herbs now! Thank you for sharing.
Gladys Strickland at 12:43pm EDT - July 9, 2018
Delectable prose, divine place. I might have just drooled on my keyboard.
Laurie Klein at 2:43pm EDT - July 9, 2018
This is beautiful! As you are explaining this I feel as if I am there as well! The way you explain the grapes make me feel as if they are so yummy! This is a very well written piece and I enjoyed reading about your experience. Thank you for sharing!
Mercedes at 10:57pm EDT - July 11, 2018
What wonderful imagery! It makes me want to hop on the next flight to Greece to see it for myself.
D M Oliver at 7:22pm EDT - July 14, 2018
This piece is beautiful and put together extremely well. I loved the structure and how you had separate paragraphs and ended with one line, that was meaningful and deep. The description was amazing throughout the entire piece and made me feel as though I was there with you!
Rachael Barnett at 10:21pm EDT - July 14, 2018
Thanks so much to everyone who has read my piece, and especially to those who commented. Such lovely messages to receive! :)
Lisa Reily at 10:16am EDT - July 15, 2018
This piece was very inviting. I have always wanted to travel to another country. To be a part of something bigger than myself or just simply enjoy the small things in life. Greece sounds simply amazing just from this piece. Fresh tea and tomatoes sounds delightful. Along with enjoying such a peaceful place.
Breanna Sisson at 12:16pm EDT - July 15, 2018
I could taste everything you wrote, some truly masterful imagery! Im sure aroma of the fresh mint and basil was intoxicating. My desire to travel Greece has increased tenfold! This piece was lovely!
Samantha Karian at 9:33pm EDT - July 15, 2018
I really enjoyed your piece. I have not been to Greece, but it sounds beautiful. I am able to feel the simplicity and peace through your piece. So much imagery! I really enjoyed how you made me feel like I was there, smelling the wine, watching the tortoise. You did a beautiful job describing your experience.
Feda at 11:38pm EDT - July 15, 2018
This piece was very warm and calming, very enjoyable read. The descriptions were clear and vivid and although I'd never been to Greece, I could see myself in your position. I love the comparison at the end to the experience you originally thought you would have, lonely. Keeping this emotion and bringing it out at the end of this piece adds another layer of warmth and feeling because it contrasts the previous emotions, bringing perspective as opposed to just having an enjoyable experience.
Jordyn at 11:58pm EDT - July 15, 2018


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