|St. George’s Monastery, Wadi Qelt|
Always, always, I have wanted to see the Greek Orthodox monasteries of Marsaba and St. George, built into the cliffs of the Judean Hills. But on all of my trips to Israel so far, it was either too hot (the desert wadis are not places to visit in the summer), or too dangerous (political unrest), or I was too busy with other things (seeing family and friends, learning Hebrew and seeing other sights) to actually attempt to see them.
On my most recent trip (I just returned a few days ago), I finally did it. I did something I always said, mainly to myself, that I wanted to do.
I found a jeep tour that would pick us up at our Jerusalem hotel and drive us out into the West Bank to see the monasteries. I texted my daughter whether we should do it on that one day when it looked like it could work out, she texted back, “Let’s do it!”
So we did it. Mind you, traveling out there is not without its hazards, see sign above, so you absolutely need a guide who knows his way around. In addition, the monasteries are remote, isolated, as the monks want to live as undisturbed as possible. They have left the world behind and have run these desert monasteries for hundreds of years.
Once we leave Jerusalem and are off-roading, we stop by an 800-year-old cistern (it can supply the Bedouin family that lives close to it with water for up to three years), pet a new-born lamb, and spot Israel’s national bird, the hoopoe, on a Bedouin grave.
Founded in the 5th century CE, the Marsaba Monastery has been in continuous use and twenty monks live there these days. Inadvertently, I caught one of them in the above photo, on the stairs under the copper dome.
Keeping a promise to yourself boosts your confidence in yourself (your self confidence) because you actually do what you tell yourself you will do, not only for others but for yourself. And then, when you do it, when you fulfill that promise, you grow a little on the inside. You gain a little pride in yourself. You float.
PS: This post is my contribution to the Bella Grace Blog Hop. Remember to leave a comment (until April 1) for a chance to win a copy of the Bella Grace Spring 2016 issue (be sure I have a way to contact you!), and check out the chain of Bella Grace Blog hoppers.
Thanks for stopping by!