Deep under the mountain lay a beautiful beast. Before the Greeks even thought about leaving Paros and coming to inhabit the Barbarian island to the North which they eventually named Faros, he was there. He had been there millions of years before then, as a matter of fact. He crawled from the sea one day, many many days before a human foot ever made the first imprint onto the island’s beaches. Or maybe he flew from the far Eastern sky and crawled under the rocks. We are not sure. We only know that after he came nothing was ever the same again…
The dragon lay under the rock and from his scaly green back grew deep emerald green pines and white lime rocks. Under his rocky belly underwater caves formed, those deep blue caves with only a glimmer of light trickling in from outside, the cool salt water lapping on his belly. Around and on top of his scaly back the sinuous mountain ridge cut high up into the sky. And on the other side of his fiery breath, far away from the glare of the ruthless sun, sprawled itself the pine forest that gave magnificent shade.
In the generosity of that green shade a small miracle was formed – a circle of friends. They came back year after year to bask in the shade of the dragon, renewing their friendship under his protection. Yet they never knew about him.
This year we will honour the Dragon and his gifts of shade, rest, renewal and friendship. We will celebrate the friendship of the Elephant and the Dragon while basking in their protection. Following the grand tradition of the terrace parties we will have the Dragon party, to celebrate activities such as workshops with children (in the past we had drawing, film, dance and jewellery workshops) and decorating the terrace with images of Drakon (an old greek guardian of the sacred rites).
Dear friends, if you feel inspired by the Dragon story please take it further – you can, for example, think of a story to continue the introduction I gave here, and perhaps give our Dragon a name. Or perhaps create a small play to be enacted by children/adults, or script to be animated through drawing and film. We could, in addition to the mosaic, create a small paper puppet of the Dragon or one of his mythical friends.
Please note: the Dragon is a benevolent beast of the Chinese sort.
For the Dragon party, come as a mythical creature of your choice: a dragon (whether the benevolent Chinese kind or the scary Western version) such as Smaug, Worm, Drake, Drakon, or Salamander; a perhaps four legged beast such as Griffin, Unicorn, Sphinx, Chimera, Manticore, or perhaps a Giant Ant, Vegetable Lamb (seriously, look it up), Phoenix, Simurgh, Siren, Mermaid, Caladrius, Kraken, Hippocampus…These are just some of the possibilities. In the words of George Bush ‘Let your wings take dream’ – who could forget the Rocket in our Utopian party? Here are a few pictures to remind us…