This online photo caught my attention.

Mortar joins long slabs of rock probably hewn from a nearby quarry, and fashioned the cellar room of an ancient house or fortress. Dried grasses and a piece of tree bark litter the earthen floor toward the exit. Mosses, of varying species teeming with critters, seem to climb the steps toward the light.

Centuries of feet, shod in soft leather, fabrics, sandals, boots, and rags, conceivably used these steps, days and nights, to respond to the needs of those living on upper floors, whether prince or peasant. Such cellars were often divided into sections according to their use: bins of root vegetables and fruits, slabs of smoked and preserved meat, stacked drums of grains, vats for grapes, and deeper cellars for wine. Other cellars jailed enemies, with implements of torture still attached to the stone walls.

Interest in this photo joggled memories of having been in such places while traveling abroad. Such exposure to other times and cultures broadened my sense of life—Nothing much has changed.

Yet, on a deeper level, cycles of darkness follow those of light and pattern our life journey: both bear fruit if willing to learn.