Some place affect you… Move you.
There are a number of locations around that world that -for reasons of simple geography- I don’t get to very often but remain Significant with a capital ‘S’.
Mount Eden in Auckland is one such place. Much closer is the Place des Vosges in Paris -where I have just come from. (We are staying a block away at the moment.)
Part of it is definitely down to catching up with my sister whom I haven’t seen for more than two years, another part of it is the €200 lunch we just finished. Part of it is just this time of year.
But I am hella contemplative right now.
So in some down time after lunch I went for a solo walk around the Marais. (My partner napped. He’s a bit unwell which is lame.) In the Marais, every road I walk leads to the Place des Vosges.
It’s a Significant Place for me because -after all the craziness of actually landing in the UK- Paris was our first proper European trip. It signified our permanence by being only three hours away from where we now lived but a world away from where we came from.
We were still a bit poor so the best night out we had was by grabbing a couple of baguettes, some cheese and two bottles of €3 wine for a bit of a summer evening picnic in the Place.
It was wonderful. It was a bit local, it was a bit independent and it was all about freedom.
The next time I went back was for my birthday earlier this year, where I used the place to calibrate an oracle. That signified another moment of change in my life… My return to magic was in full swing and we were celebrating things being generally less shit (I had landed a decent gig two weeks before).
The time after that was only the other month when I was in Paris for work. This was another milestone because travelling Europe for work has been on my bucket list since I first learned about bucket lists at age ten.
This time I haven’t quite worked it out. But it certainly marked another milestone. I have changed. The place has changed… It’s currently dusted with snow.
So I walked around, I sat on one of the icy benches, I thought for a bit… And I checked in.
External yardsticks are so important because it’s simply too difficult to accurately appraise yourself. 2010 was half sucky and half great. I have a good feeling about 2011 and I’m using these few days to mentally prep for it.
My awareness expanded to the corners of the square, I pushed energy out the soles of my feet and into the icy ground like tree roots and I said hello.
Nothing more than hello. Just checking in.