This summer was an unusually interesting and exciting summer. We visited Europe, particularly Greece, Rome, and Paris. Each country had its own unique style. In Greece, wherever we turned, there were mountains in the distance and the sea nearby to soothe our sun-soaked bodies. We visited with family in Crete and Lipsi Islands, and also Kos Island. The focus was primarily on a spiritual level, where we not only rebonded with our families, but with our souls. We found ourselves in Patmos Island, in the Apocalypse Cave where St. John wrote the Book of Revelations. We sat there in awe, looking at the indentations in the stone, where St. John, well into his nineties, did his "metanioes" or prostrations. His head would rub against the stone, forming an indentation and there was another indentation, where his hand had shaped throughout the years, and he'd use it to lift himself up. We visited Aegina Island, and the church where the remains of St. Nektarios lay, and were encased in embossed silver. We visited Lipsi Island, and on Aug. 15, witnessed the wilted flowers "krini" encased inside the glass of the Virgin Mary of Charon icon, blossom with beautiful white petals.
Afterwards, we flew to Rome and Paris, and saw a different side of life, with a variety of elements coming at us, all at once. In Rome, we visited the Vatican, and walked inside the Basilica and admired the paintings and sculptures there. In Paris, there were churches, but not so obvious.
I plan to write more later, and I'm glad to be back in the USA.
By the way, before my trip to Greece, particularly Lipsi Island, I wrote an essay about my previous trips there and how I looked forward to this upcoming trip.
Here is the piece on the following site: