In Search of Solitude
Another reason for wanting to spend some time up in the monastery was to retreat from the bustle of the city a little, and to reflect on the coming months. Some people take this as far as taking residence in one of the numerous caves that are carved into the cliffs above the monastery, for meditation & reflection.
Me, I ran to the hills. Escaping with my thoughts and deliberation on what I was doing, and what I would do. But at times, it was a physical escape I sought, and so found myself running down the ridges of the mountains, and scrambling up the rocky outcrops. Several times, this involved some fully-fledged climbing, which turned-out to be a little more than I had bargained for, particularly in hiking boots.
At one point, around ten metres up, a piece of rock came away in my hand. I tried not to think of what would have happened had I fallen with it. I vowed not to take any more stupid risks like this.
An hour later, I reneged on my promise, and found myself bouldering again. This time, a whole slab or rock—from which I was hauling myself up with both hands—came away. I fell along with it, but managed to push myself away from under its path.
Had I found religion at Mar Musa, I would have said that He was definitely looking out for me that day. Instead, I put it down to luck.