Making Descansos

Olympus 2001
March 6, 2007, 1:45 pm
Filed under: Grand Tour


Without doubt, a spiritual climax for me was reaching Mount Olympus in October 2001. The home of the Gods and Goddesses of Greek Mythology, I had revered Olympus since childhood. Traditionally regarded as the heavenly abode of the Greek gods and the site of the throne of Zeus, Olympus had become a spiritual home.

It was a bleak, overcast day and the mountain was covered with fog and mist. Darryl took one photograph and then said that he would have a sleep in the car while I spent time meditating alone.

I took one of our folding chairs and my journal and found a place where I could view the mountain. As I sat there a miracle happened. The mist cleared and a path emerged, a path that led all the way to the pinnacle. I could have sworn my muses came dancing down the path to greet me and take me to meet the Gods who knew how many thousands of kilometres I had travelled to be with them.


October 8th 2001

The pilgrimage has come to a climax! I am here! I have reached Mount Olympus and I am free to luxuriate for an hour in the shelter of her peaks. My senses are tuned, the bell of a donkey, the rustle of the leaves, a cool breeze, the sun rising over the peaks, burning away the last fragments of mist, offering clarity.

As the last of the mist drifts away I can feel my proximity to the glorious palace of the gods. Having slept for hundreds of years the Gods and Goddesses rise to greet me – pushing away the mist to see if it is really a votary who has trekked thousands of kilometres, across thousands of years. The leaves ring out like bells sounding my arrival. I can hear the scatter, the rustling of gowns. Demeter dressed quickly – a daughter coming home.

Ah there! Above me! I can see the entrance to Olympus – an avenue of pine trees marking the pathway. I can go no further by foot but must let my soul free, let her make the last climb heavenward, on alone, unencumbered by physical limitations. Blue sky marks my direction. The trickling water seeping down from the summit nourishes the soul, prepares the ascent. The rustling of more gowns. Could it be that the muses have come to surround me. Their laughter drifts all around me. Their arms embrace me. I feel their soft touch. We must climb through the clouds that have returned to cloak the entrance from prying eyes – from those would crush polythesism and insist that one tyrannical, fire breathing deity, alone, rules the universe.

‘I never did think it could be so’ I gasp, relieved to find that in my heaven I am surrounded by a quirky bunch of deities, with a fresh enthusiasm for life. Athena, Dionysus, Aphrodite, Hera, Artemis, Apollo all smile as I pass with my entourage.

“Take me to Mnemosyne, protector of memory, so that I can give her my offering – my thanks for having kept my memory of the world I love. Let me return a flame to Prometheus, a token, a symbol of my appreciation for having sustained the creative flame. Let me be a servant of Hermes, a willing messenger.”

“Patience child”.

A voice soothes me, bidding me slow down. A maternal voice speaks, a voice I know from long ago, a voice of reason that has always been with me.


The most revered of them all comes forward. She is wearing a rich blue cape and bids I sit quietly with her. In the silence I feel her cape envelop me and I feel her warmth as we sit by her hearth. She doesn’t have to speak. We just sit together, watching the flames burn brightly in the huge hearth. Within the flames I see what I have always known, hear the truth that has always been my truth. It is the hearth that I must stay by. It is a rich heritage, an all important niche, one that will not be trumpeted loudly. There will be little fanfare or glory. I have always known and understood that I must take a quieter, but all powerful role.

The cry of a bird startles me, reminding me that I cannot stay long, that I must return to an earthly shape and live out my destiny as a protectress of my hearth, that my hearth has the blessing of the Gods.

The mist has enveloped Olympus, screening the abode of my Gods from view. But I have found the entrance, know the pathway, know that it is MY secret and that whenever I am tired, weary, uncertain of my direction I can return. I am blessed indeed.

1 Comment so far
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Just beautiful, Heather!

Comment by imogen88

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