Oia Santorini – Time


Time is the wisest counsellor of all.  ~Pericles

Forgive me for indulging… but many of you have sent emails and left comments about your own dreams and life aspirations. One of the most common themes is time. Time is something that I have tried to understand as far back as I can remember. It’s a concept that has such a deep impact on our lives and yet… it is barely touched in formal education (at least in western cultures). Understanding time, the impact and effects of time & the lessons from time, are not issues that most people think about a great deal. Instant gratification and feedback at the speed of thought are the new standards, especially for our kids.

In making the decision to come here there were many discussions about time. There were comments about missed opportunities, regrets, dreams and secret desires. Comments about “timing not being right” and “time will tell”. Comments about “having plenty of time” and “one day I will…” .

When younger and working in newspapers my editor used to call me a “young man in a hurry”. I wanted to get things quickly, get promoted, get more money….. and get it all NOW! Time was not my friend and patience was not in my vocabulary.

But I was an observer… a silent student of those around me and the late 80’s was a fascinating time. In the corporate world there were a few players that were using time and strategy to achieve incredible things. I watched people like Robert Holmes a Court and Rupert Murdoch patiently building their empires and using time exquisitely. I saw the ’87 crash and the effect it had on the markets and the economy at large. The lessons were not lost on me. Three years later the markets were recovering but many of the get-rich-quick players had vanished. I remember talking to my old friend Rex Lopez who asked me about the lessons I had learned. I told him “time and gravity”. On this planet nothing goes up for ever…. and time, well time has a way of working for you or against you, depending on how well you understand it. He smiled, nodded and said “make time your friend”.

I needed to learn to be patient. I needed to understand time better… to have a different perspective on things. The first thing I did was take up Bonzai trees as a hobby. This is “not” a pass time for those in a hurry for results. The full beauty of a Bonzai tree (when grown from seedling) takes years of care and shaping. You start with an end in mind… and you slowly work at it. With patience, persistence and passion for what you’re trying to do… you end up with something that is exquisite.

This is where the conversations prior to moving to the island come in. Many said “you’re so lucky”…. but they didn’t walk miles and miles in the stifling heat looking for the right cave, they didn’t run around for half a dozen  years chasing paperwork and they didn’t  live in a hole for a year, breathing in volcanic ash while the renovation work was being done. I guess “lucky” is all about perspective. People tend to make many assumptions when they hear about those that make a decision to live a different life. They assume that you can easily afford to do it…or that you obviously have nothing to hold you back….that somehow all the planets aligned to make it possible. But that’s not how life works.

There were many “Sophie’s Choice” moments prior to making the decision to move. But something like this does not happen in an instant. From the moment an idea enters your mind, or a passion is discovered, or a dream becomes an obsession, it is a long process….a continuum if you will. You have to patiently align your life to your dream. You have to work at it and patiently make it happen. Everyone’s life has circumstances and everyone’s dream is different. But making dreams come true is a formula and understanding time, having patience and being passionate about your dream are surely the key elements.

There is no such thing as a “universally audible tick-tock”. But no matter what your dream is – opening a shop, writing a book, travelling, living in another country or changing your career – it takes time, patience & passion.  The sooner you start aligning your life to your dream the sooner you will live your dream. Time is infinite…life is not. The much talked about “one day”…doesn’t just happen, you have to make it happen !

Just my humble opinion…


If you are into great photography and an interesting read… you might like to visit the following two ladies and their wonderful blogs:

Carla loves photography

Soto Il Monte Vineyards



9 responses to “Oia Santorini – Time

  1. Good evening,
    I came here via Willow’s,
    and I am grateful for her to give me the opportunity to finally “meet” the cave-man I had heard about elsewhere.

    I loved reading your essay about time, food for thought, and it would be the perfect introduction about how to make your way into the real world and a road map to a satisfying life for any college graduate!

    I have heard that obiquitous “you’re so lucky” myself. I agree, I am an extremely lucky person, but I always hope people will recognize that nothing falls into your lap without a prize.

    Cheers from V.,

    • Welcome Merisi… very pleased you dropped by and thnx for the thoughtful comment. Indeed nothing falls on your lap…and I’m not a great believer in luck either.

      I have never been to Vienna but your images make it look irresistible. Its very high on the “to do” list now… ;-)

      Hope you drop in again soon…. M

  2. inspiring words-and so true!! Thank you!

  3. i enjoyed very much reading your post. Perhaps the common point between time in Greece and in Andalucia is its elasticity and slowness. It took me a few years to adapt myself, not get angry with the lateness of people, including my darling boyfriend.
    But today, i’m quite happy to accept that there will be time for everything. I have my rush days and my loafing days.
    i also believe one creates his own luck.
    Rasta luego!

    • lol perception of time is a funny thing Lala…based on who you are and where you are from. There is a “fuzzy meanings” game I used to use in management training… I think I will post it so you can try it at home. It will make you realise how different your perception of time is from those around you.

  4. Grazi! So lovely of you to give my site a mention.
    I’ve truly enjoyed perusing your site and am very interested in your cave. We will be digging into the side of our mountain at some point to construct a wine cellar. As for time ~ patience is sometimes difficult to come by. Some of my vines are old – some new. It takes about 5 years to be able to make wine from a vine ~ longer to make a truly good wine. I was a staff photographer for a newspaper for 18 years – my life was very hectic. Now, even though I still take on photo assigments, my life is more simple and more beautiful in so many ways.
    Cheers to you and your beautiful life!

    • Welcome Ry…
      18 years staff photographer on a daily??? The vineyard must be like living in slow motion. But despite the wait game I think you must be loving every minute of it. As for the cave… its an “interesting” process. Would be happy to share what we learned…

  5. The perfect post for where my mind is now. I have just returned from the ocean and the ocean says – patience, patience, patience. Since I was a dancer I know the rewards of discipline and hard work—They are the very things that make it look so easy to others, and others will tell you, “Oh, you are so lucky to have that talent.” All you can do is smile.

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