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Ageless Little Suns

L = Leon

M = Michael; a 70-year-old fruit vendor in our weekly market, whom I had not seen before and have not seen again since about two months ago, when our below-described encounter took place, in an initially inside-and-out cold morning.

M: (still talking to his previous male customer, to whom I believe he has just given away some fruit) “… Only your love; I want nothing else. And never mind them in high places; they cannot undo what we are.”

L: “Good morning.”

M: “Good morning.”

L:60 cents per kilo, these oranges?” (He has better-looking ones on his bench, with 1 Euro per kilo)

M: “Yes; but allow me; you’re not buying anything unless you try first…” (in no time he takes a little knife and deftly peels a ripe orange, leaving its base for me to hold it by)

L: “No no, thanks, it’s not necessary…” (*I disagrrrowl*, goes my stomach)

M: “It’s OK, son” (offers it to me, turns to serve another customer, returns as I am swallowing the last mouthful of sweetest fragrant sunlight)

L: “May you always have its sweetness.”

M: “You too. Here (handing me a plastic bag); choose what you like.”

After a while I give him back a half-full bag to weigh, and as I am handing him a couple of coins and am about to thank him and leave, I feel him serenely staring at me…

M: “What is your name?”

L: (hesitating for a breath, a little overwhelmed by the somehow otherwordly, ageless radiance coming through this elderly man’s quietly kind demeanour) “Λέων.

Μ:Come here, Λέων (actually he comes round to me, to the customers’ side of the bench). Open your bag. These are from me. They are fine inside, it’s only their skin, see? Squeeze some nice juice out of them.”

L: “Thank you so much… If you knew how we are struggling…” (I cannot keep these words from flowing out of my heart; I feel like I am talking to an all-understanding, most compassionate angel in human form)

M: … (keeps on silently filling my bag, knows I am not whining or expecting any response, feels my gratitude and I… as we stand side by side… I feel his blessings enfold me like a warm blanket!)

L: “And your name?”

M: “Μιχάλης”

L: … (Michael? My guardian Archangel? Thank you Heaven for always hearing!) Thank you so much Μιχάλη.”

M: “Be well, son.”

Ageless Little Suns - Our baby orange trees

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