Yesterday the mountain was windy and warm, and barely reddening with maple leaves. We took the easy path, the one that happens to be the most beautiful as well, because you walk right on the crest in the middle of nowhere, a sheer drop on your right, a steep bank on your left. It climbs up through clusters of thyme, to the old monastery up there, where they have just finished excavating the monks’ staircase: a well dug right against the side of the cliff, descending to a garden hidden among rocks, invisible from below. They have repaired the old water pump, too, and planted cedars. It looks as if nobody ever stopped living there.

Up at the top, at the foot of the black iron cross you can see from the valley, the wind blew so hard it was hard to keep your eyes open, but luckily, it blew towards the path, not towards the cliffs. You could sit there, legs dangling a metre away from the drop, seeing nothing but a white rocky line at your feet and then hills and plains as far as the eye can go.

It felt like sitting on the sky.

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