Monday, September 12, 2011

A Few Old City Blocks

My wife and I just got back from the vacation of a lifetime. We went on a European cruise of the western Mediterranean Sea, departing from Genoa (or Genova if you're Italian), then to Cannes, Corsica, Barcelona, and disembarking in Rome. I'll post a few reflections along the way, but this morning I wanted to take just a moment and comment on history.

We had 24 hours in Rome and I was so consistently stunned by the age of everything around there. When people have asked about it in the couple of days since we've been back, my attempt at humor in reply is that we could pick up a rock in Rome, throw it any direction, and hit something significantly older than our country. And that's not really a joke. It is more or less true every place where we set foot in Rome.

We stood looking out over the Forum. Just to the left was the Imperial Palace. Farther left was the Colosseum. So much of the world was ruled from those 2-3 city blocks and for such a long period of time. What's more, so much of what has influenced law, thought, philosophy, ethics, and government in today's world has some roots that reach back to a few old city blocks on the Via del Fori Imperiali. Gorgeous, meaningful, old ruins.

And then it hit me.

For all the influence of a few old city blocks, there's another hill in another city in another country for which we have no ruins and only an archeological best guess. From it a King established a kingdom that has transformed everyone in whom it takes root. It will last long past a few centuries. It cannot be sacked by Germanic hordes and invading forces. Earthquakes, fires, hardships, hurricanes, and anything else that tries to lay it waste only prove that it's a kingdom that cannot be shaken.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

1 comment:

  1. It's been decades since I've been in Rome, but I still remember that feeling of "ancientness" everywhere. You put it well and revived those memories in me.

    And I agree with your spiritual take-away on those musings.