Rain as in dripping leaves, puddles of water, porous hair, and greyness of skies.
Garlands of flags sway in the soft wind and temperatures are mild, despite the sprouting melancholy of this Sunday.
The weather is almost always sullen on 28 October, this day of national importance. With the refusal of the then dictator Metaxas to comply with Axis forces, Greece entered WW2.
Moody weather is just what it takes to reflect over the thousands of people who fought for our right to freedom and independence.
Friday was another tribute to freedom – one hundred years since the liberation of Thessaloniki from the Ottoman rule, in 1912. Greece had been a recognised independent state already since 1832…
I do not mind.
With this slight change of plans, I and my friend observe the solemn ceremony at the village square, while her children stay at home. The cacophony of a trumpet is almost saved by the decibels produced by the school philarmonic. Individuals may be weak, but a group is strong.
Laurel wreaths are laid before a monument of the victims of the war and the band plays the national anthem. No more fanfare than that. Sincere and sober.
The groups of young girls and boys in their perfectly ironed pristine-white shirts will eventually scatter. Together with moms with festive hairdos, fathers in suits and disappointed grandmothers.
Freedom requires virtue and courage, wrote poet Andreas Kalvos. I often wonder if we realise how precious and fundamental freedom really is.