Psilogefiro, on the road from Agrinio to Megali Chora, on a photograph dating probably from before 1940. That’s about how I remember it in the 60s, before the town developed. There was always a breeze blowing at this point and it carried an unbelievably relieving coolness in the dust and the heat of high summer, which made the surrounding tobacco fields perspire and which ripened mulberries, figs, grapes, tobacco and an unconscious desire to go away. By then there was still clear water trickling under the dark shade of the two big plane trees, heavy with bird chirping, above the frogs which, together with the tenacity of the cicadas, held the bass in the psalm. As one stepped out of the bridge, there was this minute whitewashed coffee shop which offered coffee, ouzaki, maybe a cold soft drink, when there was ice. Two or three small tables inside and two more outside and that was it. It was kept by father Barabbas. The drivers stopped there and left their carts outside, covered in dust, leaving the panting horses to rest and to cool. Sometimes they would feed them barley or hay inside bags which hung before their mouths, and they ate somewhat hiding, looking sideways. The first time I went in, hesitantly, a small boy, I saw on my right, on the inner wall, this painted mermaid. Her lit colours shone brightly as if sweating on the whitewashed wall, I was under a spell. I didn’t even dare look at the fairy, as I walked out, the lemonade in my hand. It was on that same small bridge, in that same stream and in the surrounding fields that I used to play in summer and it’s still there that I recall paradise, the arrival in the spread of time, in the wild path of life. Thank God, I say, I didn’t miss it and I lived it through, taking my time, just before it was engulfed by dust and the hurried cover of the garbage of progress, which magnetised us away from it with its wonders.