Friday, September 21, 2012

In Search of 'Kefi': Lost and Found

I like to think of myself as, generally, quite a Happy Soul.
At my best, I feel joyous, exultant, buoyant, radiant.
At my worst, I am merely content, (but ALWAYS grateful).

I do get the Blues occasionally (ok, well monthly, if you know what I mean) but when I am Swimming in the Depths of Sad Waters, I know that this will (eventually) pass.

But for me, Life is all about the Pursuit of Happiness.

The Greeks have a term for this Happiness that lives inside us: this Joyful Spirit, this Passion for Life, this 'Joie de Vivre'.
The Greeks call it 'kefi'.
And as a proud Grecian Goddess myself, kefi pulsates through my body and my DNA like a passionate, rhythmic dance.

For Greeks, kefi is found in the sparkle of our eyes, the cheekiness of our smiles, the warmth of our embrace, the abundance of our feasts,  the heartiness of our laugher, the generosity of our hospitality, the gusto of our voices in song, the passion in our dance. Kefi celebrates the joy of being alive.

This morning my kefi was quashed because of one sad little daughter in our house.
There is a saying that goes (with which I wholeheartedly agree ):
"A Mother is only as Happy as her Un-Happiest Child".
And it was very true this morning.
When my children are truly unhappy, it guts me and torments me. It's the most wretched feeling in the world.
Upset and defiant, there was nothing I could do to soothe her troubled mind (stubborness is a trait she gets from her father, I might add, just quietly). It saddened me to leave her at school this morning, red eyed and with quivering lips.

When child is sad, mother is sadder.

I got home and my kefi plummeted. I had no joy.
Not even Pinterest, nor chocolate, nor offers of a massage by Mr WhoaMamma could settle my troubled heart. I could not rest until I knew my child was okay.

I looked at the time and grabbed my keys. It was time for  recess.
"I'm off!" I shouted to Le Husband. "Just want to check that Little Miss C is okay".
"I'll join you", said my partner in crime and off we went, Mr & Mrs WhoaMamma, arm in arm, to the school grounds to spy on our offspring.

And there they were. Our twins. Laughing and playing amongst their friends, screeching with joy.
We were spotted and towards us they ran, embracing our legs, breathless with delight.
"What are you doing here?" they queried.
"Oh, Daddy and I were just having a coffee nearby and on our way home we thought we'd just pop in and say 'hello'. So.... 'hello'!"
Miss C looked at me with a Knowingness and hugged me extra tight.
"Thank you, Mamma. I'm happy now!" and with that the bell rang and off they skipped back to class.

I may not be able to solve the world's problems but I'll sure as heck be there for my kidlets in any way I can.

The sun shone and the birds tweeted extra sweetly.
I 'high-fived' Mr WhoaMamma and gave him a cheeky wink.
I could contain myself no longer.
Arms outstretched, fingers clicking, a quick kick of the left foot followed by a quick kick of the right, I joyously slapped my ankle.

My kefi was back.


And now... a musical expresson of kefi, kitschy Greek-cinema style. Enjoy!
(From the film My Daughter the Socialist (1966) starring Aliki Vougiouklaki)

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What gives you 'kefi'?


Catherine Rodie Blagg (Cup of Tea and a Blog) said...

You made me shed a little tear. But in a nice way. I'm recovering from dental surgery today so not much joy here right now! Cx

Parental Parody said...

Nawwww. You're so freakin lovely. I'm so glad the twins were happy and fine when you did go take a peek!

Yvette Bowyer said...

oh thats so sweet.. you know your daughter appreciated it!!

:) well done you getting your kefi back!! OPA!

Popping over from FYBF :)

Me said...

I can remember leaving K at kindy and she would be crying and sobbing and not wanting us to go - then I would get to work and cal (before the time of mobiles !!!) and they would say "Yes, she was fine 2 mins after you left here" - after a while I stopped getting upset and leaving her crying because I knew she was fine !
Have the best day !

Grace said...

Oh, Jess...lovely. This one bought a tear to my eye. Thank you for sharing this beautiful word. And this heartfelt story. You always speak with your heart and I love it xxx

JulieK said...

Oh, such a nice story! I know the feeling, having the kiddos sad is the WORST! I bet they were so happy to see you there!

Anonymous said...

Keep working, nice post! This was the information I had to know.

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