"Each step forward has a sacred meaning of its own"   Sri Chinmoy

Ancient Olive, above Budva, Montenegro, December 2017

The day after  our 4 mile race and the dash up to the church above Kotor, I felt some stiffness and soreness in the legs I felt sure was not going to fade by the following day (race day in dubrovnik) but anyhow I simply had to get some walk/jog miles done and at least try and ease things up. Moni had told me about a 2000 year old tree just a short distance from our hotel on the seafront at Becici, so after morning meditation I followed the steep but silent roads away from the sea and up into the hills overlooking the coastal strip.

After about half an hour I came to the old olive mill and saw a sign for a viewpoint - I made that my first stop. It was great to be on trails, soft underfoot and heading out to a spur overlooking the sea in one direction and waterfalls and mountain slopes in the other. I set some dogs off barking but they soon calmed down. Back along the trail I followed a sign for the old olive that seemed to point down a dirt trail heading to a stream and then began to wind further and further down into the scrubland. Seemed like a wrong turn, so I backtracked and followed a nicely paved trail that the sign definitely didn't point to....but which turned out to be the right way to the tree.

It was incredible to think that this tree had been alive for 20 centuries. In the crown of old wood you could see new green shoots appearing and growing up towards the waving branches. I once read that trees don't house a single soul for their whole lifespan, but allow an old soul to move on and a new one to come in and occupy them. One sould or many, trees like these have witnessed an incredible span of time and their presence is very still and serene. I had time for the briefest of meditations on the bench by the tree, Gayatri Mantra, Invocation, then back on the road down to the Becici seafront where shops were already open, despite the lack of people in this quiet season on the coast.

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