It looks imposing as you arrive— the “mountaintop” we were gazing at from the harbor at Delos island as our boat pulled into the harbor.
As we marveled through this amazing open-air archaeological site, unique in the world, with thousands of years of history at every footstep, the “mountain” was always there, nagging at me.
From the moment I landed on Delos, I had no desire to even try the climb— after all, a few weeks earlier I had been sitting in an infusion chair at the NYU Cancer Center getting my last chemotherapy treatment— a chemical poison that had decimated my body over the past six month and sent my immune system into chaos.
Everywhere we went, though, on every ancient rock I stepped on or over and every corner we turned, that mountain was there, staring at me, whispering— you can do it.
No way, I thought. I could barely walk a few minutes without needing to catch my breath.
Eventually, we passed the museum and we had two options— head up the steps to the mountain, or hang right and head down the slight hill and back to the harbor.
I had my doubts about being able to climb to the top— especially the final incline which looked pretty imposing.
I struggled all the way up Mt. Kynthos— the peak of Delos where the Ancient Greeks believed Apollo and Artemis were born and has since remained a sacred island.
The last few steps were the hardest and at one point, right before I reached the top, I snapped a selfie with the boys on the peak and said to myself— ok, mission accomplished, now don’t push it.
The peak was surrounded by giant limestone boulders and hard to reach. If cancer hadn’t killed me, I thought, a fall from one of these rocks very well may have.
Then I felt this energy come from behind me— a sort of windless wind that pushed and nudged me up, without missing a step— and before I knew it, there I was.
I don’t know what it was but something certainly helped me up those last steps to the top— and what a magical sight— all the islands of the Cycladic archipelago before, circling this sacred place, seeing exactly why the “Cyclades” got their name as they encircle— like the Greek word kyklos— around Delos.
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