Have you walked on history?
Not through it or around it —
But ON it.
Think about this for a moment.
Have you been somewhere where people – 100, 500 or even 1000 years ago — walked on the same surface you were walking on?
And it’s mind-blowing!
Now I know that on my first trip Europe —
To the Andalucia region of Spain — I was walking on history.
I walked on it in as I gawked at the Alhambra in Granada.
And gazed up at the cathedral in Sevilla.
And as I wandered the streets of Ronda.
But I didn’t realize it at the time.
I was too busy looking up and around to pay attention to what was under my feet.
History was all around me.
But I wasn’t thinking about it being under me.
The same holds true as I made my first trip to Italy in 2008.
All the little churches I visited.
And all the hill towns of Tuscany I wandered about.
I never really thought about what I was walking on.
Again, I was too busy looking around me.
It was on my trip to Ephesus in Turkey that I finally really looked down.
My friend, Deb, and I were on a tour of this amazing ancient ruined city that was at its height as BC times turned into AD times.
We had a fabulous guide who brought these ruins to life.
As he talked about the streets of ancient Ephesus, I looked down.
And it dawned on me —
I was standing on the same stones that the ancient people had walked on.
As they went to work.
As they shopped at the markets.
And has they visited family and friends.
It was mind boggling.
These were the same stones!
I find that as an American — a country that is still so young — it’s difficult to fathom the history of hundreds and even thousands of years that other countries have.
After that fateful trip Turkey…
I began to pay more attention to what was under my feet.
I started to think of history in a different way.
And while I’ll always be looking up.
And I’ll forever be looking around.
I now remember that history is also below me.
So on this last trip to the British Isles…
I looked down.
But I also felt the history under my feet.
I remember wandering about this tiny church in Templecombe, England with my friend, Sue.
As I walked down the aisle of the church and around the altar area, I could feel the uneven stones beneath my feet.
And I stopped.
And I really felt it.
I let the history surround me.
I imagined all the townspeople of this area over the hundreds of years — people that came to this tiny church to worship.
Again it blew my mind.
Those stones were still there — even after all this time.
Worn smooth by all the feet that came and went.
I think back on my travels.
I relive times of wandering cobblestone lanes in Italy and Ireland.
Of visiting castles in Scotland.
Of walking into village squares and churches.
And I remember that feeling under my feet —
The feeling of uneven stones.
Of stones worn smooth by the passage of time and the many feet that passed over them.
And of the history of each place.
The saying, “If these walls could talk” comes to mind.
But maybe that should be “If the ground could talk.”
Oh the stories we would hear…