As we walked down the steps to the base of the mesa, I admired its beauty. I had no fear about this journey. One of our many adventures in Greece, we were climing to the top of this mesa to watch the sun set and take in the breathtaking view of Santorini. Laughing and talking - we starting climbing the winding path. Unexpectedly, I was overcome with dizziness. I have vertigo when I am in high places, but it had never occured to me that I would experience it now. Tom was far behind me and Coral had gone ahead far in front of me. I paused to ground myself and to wait for Tom. Tom always helps me to feel stong - like I can do anything with him. We started climbing again. Looking for the best rocky places to step and pausing to hold the rocks as we climbed higher. It was better.
Then we came to a landing near the top. Several people were gathered there looking at the ascent straight up the rock to the top. One person was at the bottom guiding climbers - pointing out the steps and the hand holds. At the top, you had to use your arms to lift yourself to the top. I was overcome with fear. One other woman had extreme vertigo and couldn't make the climb. We were going to wait on the landing. I could see others at the top. Coral waived down encouraging me to come up. Finally, there were only three of us left - Tom, myself and the other woman. I was going to try. The woman gave up and decided to make the trip back down. I had a moment of comfort with her sitting on the landing, but I felt like I needed to make the journey. When she saw I was considering climbing up, she left. Tom was willing to sit with me - even though I knew he wasn't afraid and that he would love to be at the top. I love him for that sacrifice.
I was at a very familiar place. The top was so close. I could see it. How many times had I been here? I usually retreated or stayed safely just below. I decided to try. Tom guided me. I placed my first foot and grasped the rock. The next step was big. I reached up but my foot missed. I could feel my legs shaking. I felt myself give up. Tom assured me that he was fine sitting on the landing to watch the sunset. I couldn't believe that I was here again. The only way to the other side was through. I started to cry. I knew that I would keep coming to the place. I felt disappointed, less than and separate. Shiva had often said, "don't leave yourself behind." This is what she meant. Then all of a sudden, I decided - I was going to do it. I stood up and came back to the rock. This time my legs were stronger. All I felt was determination. This was my opportunity. Tom guided me and I came to the last step. I reached up and pulled myself to the top. I heard someone say my name. The others were all gathered in a circle. The circle parted and we stepped in.
I was overcome with emotion. I needed to pause and take it in. We sat in meditation as the sun set over the Aegean. Tears streamed down my face. I felt so many things - happy, part of the whole, and a new freedom. Once again I felt gratitude. In the quiet of mediation, I found peace. How lucky I am to be surrounded by so much in my life - even the challenges. I will never forget the mesa and what it meant to me.