Standing on the hillside with the Sicilian sun warming our backs, I started to realise just how insignificant we all are. Mere grains of sand on this huge beach of life. Miniscule morsels of meat with a very short sell-by date, walking on paths where others have walked before us. Many, many others.
Exactly how many others, I wondered, had stood on this ancient place of worship, looking out over this turquoise bay, feeling the gentle wind blow through their hair, as we were at that very moment?
Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Millions?
How will I ever know? All we saw were the remains of what had been built on this grassy hilltop five hundred years before J.C. arrived and made us all start counting. We were atop a Greek temple (I had no idea the Greeks had colonised Sicily, but then I am very historically challenged), erected in a very precise spot at a very precise angle to pray to Athena, the goddess of many things. I was sure someone at the archeological museum told us that Athena ran the fertility department but I’ve just read that her main concerns were wisdom and warfare. Surely the two do not walk quietly hand in hand?
Anyway, where were we? Peering down on huge blocks of stone left standing from over two thousand five hundred years ago. The sheer existence of them made me begin to wonder who will be standing where I am right now in two thousand five hundred years time? Will anyone be standing at all? Will humanity be comfortably sitting in those Wall-E-type hover-chairs? Will there be anyone left on Earth by then? Will there even be an Earth to hover around on?
The Greeks, however, certainly knew how to build things to last. The remnants of their time on Sicily are highly and unbelievably sophisticated. Huge, almost intact urns; beautifully decorated vases; tiny, exquisitely shaped dishes; coins; statuettes; glass bottles. They produced items which would see the faces of curious, sunburnt tourists staring at them through glass cabinets in museums twenty-five centuries later. The mind boggles.
But what will we leave for our grand(times a hundred)children? What will survive the test of time and stroll through the next hundred generations unscathed? Not much I imagine.
And what will I personally leave as a lasting legacy? My four false front teeth may be discovered intact under the foundations of our house which will have crumbled to dust long before they will. My diamond ring will survive I’m sure. It may even be on the finger of one of my many descendants, unless one of them pawns it before it gets that far down the line. All other proof of my time here will have turned to ashes and dirt.
Except perhaps my words, which hopefully will be passed down from iPad to iPad until they reach the new iPad2500. And someone in the year 4517 may consult the one attached to their eyeball, inadvertently blink on my blog, then ponder lengthily over the inane ramblings which were written in days of yore.
Much will have happened by then, too much to even begin to imagine. Billions more grains of sand will have been washed up on this beach.
But I’m pretty sure those big Greek stones will still be standing proudly in Kamarina Bay. And whatever remains of humanity will be able to teleport themselves over there in the bat of an i-lid and hover above them in awe.