Ah, nails! A Greek tale

An experience in Greece I think you’ll enjoy. From Ariana Huffington’s sister, Agapi Stassinopoulos, in her book Unbinding The Heart

After my sister published her book on the Greek gods, she was asked to do a feature for Town & Country in which she was photographed in Greece, dressed as each of the gods and goddesses. 

For her photo as Dionysus, god of wine, we drove to a friend’s vineyard outside Athens and gathered on the porch of the little house where the caretaker, Mr. Vasilios, lived with his wife and daughter. 

He welcomed us with typical Greek hospitality, offering ouzo, feta cheese, olives, grapes, and bread. 

The photographer wanted to hang bunches of grapes from the porch beams to take a shot of my sister’s face surrounded by the fruit. We asked Mr. Vasilios if he had a few nails we could pound into the beams. 

Mr. Vasilios put his hand on his head, pondering out loud, “Nails, nails, nails,” as if he were going to manifest them from thin air. 

Suddenly his gaze fell on a three-legged stool in the porch’s far corner. 

“Ah, nails,” he exclaimed—and proceeded to pull out the nails that held the stool together. He handed them to us with a look of triumph. 

“Here are six nails!” 

We glanced at each other, speechless. Such generosity—taking apart the furniture to loan strangers a few nails—is what I call unconditional giving, being so open to someone else’s needs that you will go to any length to meet them. 

Each time we do this from the heart, life becomes richer, more full of meaning.

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