The weather was beautiful, Apollinaria and her friends from school went for a walk in the mountains.
The path started from the top stone step in the city. It was an ancient path, lined with old stones that were perhaps several hundred years old.
Apollinaria thought that ancient Roman and Byzantine warriors walked along these paths, carrying written letters from the emperor.
The paths did not look dangerous now, because there were no dangerous animals around, there were no enemies lying in wait. But still, a walk in the mountains always poses health risks. Because your heart beats faster, your breathing deepens and becomes more frequent, your mouth becomes dry, you need to be careful and drink water. If you step carelessly in uncomfortable shoes, you can damage your foot, and this is especially dangerous when there are no friends nearby.
Mountains are a place where friendship is tested. People can talk politely, essentially creating a distraction and thereby putting you in danger. This is not real friendship. This is a mask of friendliness, social courtesy, masking indifference.
A true friend cares about you as about himself, understanding the degree of danger to which all participants in a mountain hike are exposed.
Some may have taken a bottle of mineral water with them, while others may have forgotten the water at home. But everyone should feel safe going up the mountains. And this requires water, among other things. And you need understanding, support and care among friends.
Rosemary bushes bloomed in the mountains and myrtle berries were visible, exuding an amazing aroma. Wild pomegranate fruits hung from the branches, ready to fall and reveal their bright red seeds like drops of blood. Sometimes the wind blew. It was beautiful in the mountains above the sea.
Apollinaria looked at the stone-lined path leading up to the top of the mountain. It was a strange feeling of participation in something that lasted hundreds and thousands of years. It was admiration of nature, a feeling of harmony and peace among nature, unity with all the people who have ever walked along these paths and overcome the dangers of the path. A successful journey cost them personal courage, willpower, prudence, caution and hope for the best.
Apollinaria was grateful that she had friends around her, because experiencing dangers and overcoming them together tests friendship and turns danger into the joy of victory over difficulties.