Lasting a Lifetime
On the western edge of the Mátra Hills is Ágasvár. It is one of those places off limits to most of the world. Not because of exclusivity or private ownership, but because there is no road here, only trails.
That is a deterrent to many, but to others it is an invitation. Here is a place to get back in touch with nature. With a pack full of supplies, a footpath and curiosity a hiker can departs from either of two small villages, Mátrakeresztes or Mátraszentistván.
Hikes to the cone shaped 789 meter high Ágasvár Mountain are well worth the journey. In this area, the trail transports visitors back into the natural world. This is the type of place that makes people forget that they are in Hungary or even Europe.
Here they are in a much larger world, the one into which everyone was born, lives and dies. No matter how much we try to distract ourselves with the refinements of modern life, the natural world is truly where we belong.
Ágasvár is part of a protected refuge. What is a refuge? It is often defined as a place or state of safety, providing shelter and protection. In a modern sense defining Ágasvár as a refuge may seem to be a paradox.
After all this is a place of wildness, especially in comparison with the world in which the majority of Hungarians and foreigners live. Nature is filled with wildness. At the Ágasvár refuge one could be attacked by animals, get caught in bad weather or have an accident with help miles away. How can this be a refuge?
Because it protects the very things we hold dear, which are at the very core of our inner being.It is a refuge of life, with animals, forests and plant life able to thrive, for visitors to go there and re-experience the essence of all that is life.
Here one is not just surrounded by nature, but also part of it. For so long we have retreated into our artificial homes, distracted ourselves with technology and fallen prey to material concerns.
This is what we are dying of, but at Ágasvár is what we have been dying forIt is here where we step forward into life. The experience may only last a little while, but somewhere deep within us, it will last a lifetime.
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