The faint echo of my footsteps disappeared into the silence. An aura of sanctity so profound manifested within the monastery. I stood in reverie admiring an archaic facade. The monastery walls seemed archaic, decaying yet dignified; the passing of centuries merely enhanced their beauty. Suddenly, a monk with flowing black robes appeared, full of joy and smiling. His speech resonated with a rich and beautiful melody. I could not help but look upon his child like face in wonder. The thought fleetingly crossed my mind “Is he slightly mad?”. After a few moments, looking upon the purity of his countenance, I felt ashamed and merely stood in silence. The monk’s eyes radiated innocence and purity yet his words were filled with wisdom and love as he gave me his blessing and wished me well upon my life’s journey. I stood for a long time in silence, not wanting to leave, sensing that I was in the presence of someone special. It was with a heavy heart that I departed, deep in thought. I often think of this unknown monk. The purity of his warm eyes and loving words have left me a lasting impression. A monk living a simplistic life dedicated to prayer and fasting yet somehow filled with profound sense of peace and joy.