It was the last full day of my holiday with my partner and family. At this time, it felt like I was truly getting to know this beautiful family. Funny times, quiet times, special times, emotional times but a welcome I will never forget.
So looking forward to seeing them all again soon.
Everyone else had decided on a day by the pool so we decided to get in the hired car and explore the local monasteries in and around Silikou, a village in the Limmosal district of Cyprus.
I was getting used to this morning view on our balcony....
We walked into the monastery and were greeted with silence. All that we could hear was a slight breeze brushing through the olive trees.
The courtyard leading to the cloisters had the most amazing views. The silence was soon broken by friendly little cats...
We both walked around the monastery and were suddenly greeted by a Ghanian monk. He was so kind, calm and warm. He showed us around his cloisters and his magnificent church. As we walked into the church, I was amazed by the ancient paintings and how flamboyant it was.
I've always been an atheist. Many years ago I came to the conclusion that God didn't exist. He was completely fabricated. Some people just needed to believe in God.
But then I met this monk. He was so intelligent, caring and kind. It bothered me that someone that intelligent could believe in God.
He explained that he was here for two years and would then move on to another monastery. It was his was of seeing the world.
He spoke about his religion which was so interesting to hear and I came away with so much of what he said that it did change my outlook on life. It changed my outlook on religion.
To be yourself in this world. To accept yourself and value everything we have. To forgive those who have been bad to you. Not to hate but to love. To treat people you want to be treated.
Learn to love your enemies and to forgive. I get at this moment in time his words meant so much to me.
To give with your heart.
I don't consider myself and atheist anymore but I'm not quite sure, yet, where things may develop.
I've been enlightened and changed by this visit to Cyprus and the Ghanian monk.