After two days on Elafonisis, we took the ferry back to Pounta to continue on to Gytheio.
We were the last car to disembark, because, against my actual nature, we had managed to board the ferry first. But only, truth be told, because we had managed to miss the previous one. So, all in all, business as usual.
As we were maneuvering off, we were held up by the cars in front of us.
Ahead of the small queue, I saw some moving sheep.
Having come across a similar scene before, I knew, instantly, that a shepherd was driving home his flock. Still with regret in my heart that I hadn’t snapped a picture the last time, I grabbed my camera and jumped out of the moving car (I might have added this for dramatic effect).
On touching ground, I was greeted by a beautiful spotted dog, licking my hand, and, seemingly, very pleased with our encounter.
Across the street from me, I could make out two figures emerging from the rising dust.
It was the shepherd with his son. Unaware, as they seemed to have been, of the approaching ferry, they now hurried their flock across the road to a trampled path, created by the hooves it was now serving. In a flash, they shot past me, wanting to end the wait for those who leave paradise in haste.
I followed on their heels, almost tripping, while composition and coordination seemed to develop a new level of animosity. Not, like all good photographers, wasting a single thought on exposure. A quick look at my camera screen soon revealed my chain of thought as, let’s say, questionable. The shepherd saw my failed attempt, halted for a moment, and gave me an encouraging, warm smile while the last sheep, haughtily, closed their ranks.
With this mild gesture, gently sending me along, he continued his firm steps in the old direction, driven by the urgency that wasn’t his.
The last to follow was the shepherd’s son. With a stride, lighter than his father’s, yet feathered by the same old soil, he shone with pride, his eyes aglow with purpose.
While still fumbling with my dials, he passed me by, fluent in his motion, like water in a riverbed. Playfully weighing his wooden stick, attending, with keen eyes, to his family’s wealth.
And then he disappeared, cloaked in the dust, as cars began to pass him.