The Malta Independent 13 June 2024, Thursday
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Gozo: Ulysses remembers Calypso

Emmanuel J. Galea Sunday, 9 June 2024, 08:40 Last update: about 5 days ago

Anyone can dream. Dreaming about Ulysses was unusual and entertaining. I feel compelled to share that joy with you, my readers. Typically, I focus on critical issues that impact everyday life in Gozo. However, following yesterday’s election, some recreation will be most welcome.

Ulysses sent a message to Calypso, despite his unwavering devotion and commitment to his loyal wife, Penelope. The years spent with Calypso left lingering memories still chasing Ulysses. How one interprets them is a matter of personal perspective.

Please bear with me. I am merely the messenger. For this special occasion, let’s sit back, let our imaginations run wild, and follow Ulysses in his cherished memories of Ogygia - Gozo while in the company of Calypso. 

Enjoy.

Calypso, my dear nymph, 

As I sit beneath the shade of ancient olive trees, the whispers of the wind carry me back to the enchanting days we spent together on the island of Ogygia. Oh, how vividly I recall the untouched beauty that surrounded us, a paradise untouched by the hands of time.

In those days, Ogygia was a land of untamed wilderness, where nature reigned supreme. The rugged coastline stretched out before us, its cliffs rising majestically from the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean, like guardians standing watch over the island’s secrets. The countryside was a patchwork of rolling hills and flourishing valleys, carpeted with wildflowers that danced in the breeze. Ancient olive groves and wrinkled fig trees dotted the landscape, their branches reaching toward the sky as if in silent prayer to the gods. 

The villages were few and far between, their rubble stone walls gleaming in the golden sunlight. Life moved at a leisurely pace, guided by the rhythms of nature rather than the shadow of the sun on the sundial. The people who called Ogygia home lived in harmony with the land, drawing sustenance from its bounty and finding solace in its timeless beauty. But it was not just the natural beauty of Ogygia that captivated the senses; it was the peace and tranquillity that pervaded the island like a gentle caress. In those days, Ogygia hidden from wars to wage or kingdoms to conquer, immersed in the simple pleasures of life and the beauty of the surrounding nature.

And amidst this idyllic paradise, there was you, dear Calypso, with your radiant smile and gentle spirit. Your presence in Ogygia multiplied the beauty of the island a thousandfold, as if the very essence of Ogygia had found its reflection in your eyes. For seven years, you held me in your embrace, promising me immortality and an existence free from the sorrows of the mortal world.

As the years passed, our bond grew stronger, deepening with each passing day. Together, we explored every nook and cranny of Ogygia, discovering hidden coves and secret grottos, forging memories that would last a lifetime. But even as we revelled in the beauty of our surroundings, there was always a part of me that longed for home, for the familiar shores of Ithaca, and the loved ones I had left behind. 

And so, with a heavy heart, I knew that the time had come for me to bid farewell to Ogygia and return to the world beyond its shores, to my beloved wife, Penelope, who waited for me with unwavering faith.

Following my departure, allow me to recount how Ogygia’s starlit nights and blissful mornings filled the island with the soft glow of the moon and the first light of dawn. The nights on Ogygia were nothing short of enchanting, as the sky above shimmered with countless stars, their twinkling lights casting a celestial dance across the heavens. We would often sit together beneath the vast expanse of the night sky, our hearts filled with wonder at the beauty of the universe stretched out before us. 

In those moments, time seemed to stand still, as if the entire world had come to a halt to witness the splendour of the night. And as we gazed up at the stars, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe and reverence for the mysteries of the cosmos, knowing that each twinkling light held untold secrets waiting to be discovered. But it was not just the stars that captured our hearts; it was the symphony of nature that accompanied them, filling the night air with the soothing sounds of the sea. The gentle lapping of the waves against the shore, beneath our cave, the distant cacophonies of the crickets provided a soothing backdrop to our conversations, while the rustling of the leaves in the breeze seemed to whisper secrets of the valley.

And then there were the mornings, when the first light of dawn bathed the island in a soft, golden glow, painting the landscape in hues of pink and orange as the sun rose over the horizon. It was a time of quiet reflection and renewal, as Ogygia woke from its slumber and the birds greeted the day with joyful song. Birds of every shape and size took to the skies, filling the air with the sweet melodies of nature’s choir as they heralded the dawning of a new day. Their songs filled the air with music, lifting our spirits and filling our hearts with a sense of joy and wonder.

As the sun engulfed our cave in its warm glow, we could easily forget the world’s troubles and relish in the moment’s beauty. And as we watched Ogygia come to life around us, I couldn’t help but feel a profound sense of gratitude for the simple pleasures of life and the beauty of the nature surrounding us.

So, dear Calypso, as I prepared to bid farewell to Ogygia and return to the life beyond its shores, I carried with me the memories of its starlit nights and blissful mornings, like treasures to cherish in the depths of my heart. And though I left that paradise behind, know that a part of me will always remain there, with you, on that timeless island of beauty and wonder.

My fondest wishes,

Ulysses

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