The warm rays of the sun, bright smiles and eyes shining: the 10th meeting on the top of Kasprowy Wierch on the 23rd of April brought together a very special group of friends. They gathered between the sky and the earth, in the place which the archbishop Marek Jędraszewski called the highest located church in Poland.
Throughout the 11-year history of meetings on the sacred mountain, the weather has been as unsettled as it can only be in the high mountains. This time it showed its gentle side, with the sun shining bright from the early morning hours, melting the snow on the southern slopes of the Tatras. The sky remained magnificently blue until the very end of the event.
From under the famous bell tower, on the top of Kasprowy Wierch, the Metropolitan of Kraków began the homily using the words “Nothing is greater than God”. It is a phrase engraved on the cross by Wincenty Pol in Kościeliska Valley, which is a true expression of awe and reverence toward the beauty of the divine. After all, how beautiful God must be if the world he created is so marvelous, so breathtaking, and so poignantly reaching the core of our souls, especially in the place like the Tatras. This special way of divine communication through nature is particularly impressive, clear, and effective in the mountains.
Following the Mass, Rafał Sonik thanked those who came to celebrate not only the tradition of annual gatherings but also one of the most important values in the contemporary world – meaningful social relations. We have created a microcosm of sorts here; an asylum in which we can cherish something absolutely special. Creating social bonds is what defines us as humans and gives meaning to our lives. Unlike virtual connections, based on shallow, online communication, these relations are true; they are human and they are strengthened and sealed by real conversations, eye contact, warm handshakes, and heartfelt hugs. Memories of such moments and talks bring smiles to our faces, boost our energy, and let us look into the future with much more optimism. Having that presence and support of another human being is a priceless gift in times like these.
After prayer, there was time for long conversations and socializing with old and new friends. In one of the local restaurants, Wojciech Szatkowski led a screening of archival movies and photos, pertaining to the history of skiing. A charismatic band “Ciupaga” entertained the guests during the meal. After the event was over, everybody headed home with a huge smile, peaceful heart, and a DVD and booklet about the 11-year old history of those unique meetings, which hopefully will continue for decades to come.