Prespa: A Journey from Home

“It is through the power of observation, the gifts of eye and ear, of tongue and nose and finger, that a place first rises up in our mind; afterward it is memory that carries the place, that allows it to grow in depth and complexity. For as long as our records go back, we have held these two things dear, landscape and memory. Each infuses us with a different kind of life.”

~ Barry Lopez, ‘The American Geographies’

Like so many across the world, we are severely restricted in our movements in Greece right now. Which means that most of the Prespa lakes basin where I live is off limits for the foreseeable future, but re-reading Barry Lopez’ essay reminded me that journeys can unfold in ways other than the physical. Over the coming days and weeks I’ll reacquaint myself with our home region through memory, sharing photos of these landscapes and their wild citizens from earlier walks and wanders, as well as some of their stories, too.

Our need for connection will grow ever greater over the course of spring, along with the anchoring knowledge that our green places, both small and large, will be there on the other side for us, so feel free to share your own home grounds and wildlife in the comments below.

I’ll begin: Prespa is a crossroads region. Three countries – Greece, Albania and North Macedonia – come together around two lakes. Limestone meets granite; the Mediterranean pushes northwards into the Balkans; and its great bowl of water is cupped inside a circle of stone.

Next time on this #journeyfromhome: the lakes.

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