“Welcome to Matala George. Today is life. Tomorrow never comes” with daisies on a dazzling white wall. Lazy afternoons grooving underneath a thatched roof. Tripping by the flipped A in “Hakuna matata”. Happy people dancing, toes twirling in the beach sand, under the Matala moon. Soul searchers like Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Janis Joplin, and maybe also George, the Beatles George. The tired ones retreat to their caves in the rock and sleep on beds once carved out for the Roman dead. At each creeping dawn, tomorrow peered at the Flower Children over the rock ledge and decided to go elsewhere instead, if just for a day.
One day tomorrow came, along with those who thought the ancient tombs were better held sacred when prawled by tourists in swimsuits. Curious people came in throngs, too, to feel just a tickle of the magic without ever daring to throw themselves into living for the day. Matala became a site of pilgrimage, where the last remaining hippies were photographed as they ambled about their homes.
I stayed just for day, too. Maybe, just maybe, after I and the hundreds of tourists had gone, somebody lit a fire on the beach. Maybe a few dark shadows with smiles gathered around the flames. A guitar, a drum, and a few breaths while staring at the blackened water. Then music swirling up towards the milky way, voices, joy, and chasing today beyond midnight.
Who knows, perhaps some are still searching their souls under the Matala moon.