I walked through the small, but historic, town that I lived in. It was, of course, visited for its culture and history but what the visitors always forgot to pay attention to was the beauty of the tiny details.
They appeared everywhere to someone looking specifically for them; to a resident like me they were obvious and seemed to stand out, waiting especially for a day like this where they would let the sunlight hit them and reflect, glittering, back off the shiny surfaces.
Of course, it was the brass and steel (and the occasional polished marble- though we weren’t known for marble here) that would take advantage of times like these. But it wasn’t the silver embossed statues or the metallic words on the building-fronts that really made the city beautiful.
It was the spires of the cathedral and many colleges that towered over everything- living or not. They were the giants of the town, the lords that ruled it, the protectors. They were everything, in the background of every painting, in the unconscious foreground of every person’s mind…
And yet, they were nothing.
The young, fashionable people who passed them everyday, the ones who had come from miles around to attend the universities, saw nothing of these magnificent creatures. They saw a place to eat, a place to sleep, and a place to learn without joy. They saw a place where they could get together, a place where they left teenage life behind, and progressed into adult fledglings, ready for the world.
They took it all in at the speed that they drove around in their flashy, new cars: quickly and without care. They didn’t notice the buildings that climbed into the sunrise, they didn’t notice the shadows that swelled at midday, burdened with the gravitas of such might structures…
I was scared my son was one of those students.