The Divine Climb of Meteora: In the Moment
The sun strikes the sandstone cliff and reflects on my face. The afternoon heat reaches its peak but the light breeze blowing up from the valley floor helps maintain my composure. The movement of air is slight and silent. The Sound of bees, roosters, and stray dogs echo off the canyon walls. My belay partner, Matt, stands far below so in this moment it's just me and the rock.
I came to Meteora following the path that primitive climbers began so many years before me. I found the region full of intense, natural beauty both easy to love and difficult to leave. Climbers from the world over seek out the clean and abundant lines while Orthodox Christians brave the heights to tap into the holy tradition of the monasteries perched on top.
Is there much that separates the pursuits of either party; Climbers and Pilgrims?
- For one, the limits of the human body; the other, the depths of the human soul.
I top out of the route and soak in the view before me; pillars of stone dot the landscape - byzantine refuges perched delicately on the surrounding peaks. It's easy to see why this place attracts man in his endless pursuit for more.
In this moment, high up the stone wall, I breathe a prayer of thanksgiving and the two pursuits become one.