Whenever I travel, I find myself taking dozens and dozens of photos in order to capture every moment and every memory. And after a long hiatus from traveling, I typically find myself looking at those same photos and reminiscing about the local culture, the restaurants where I ate and just the feeling of being somewhere different.
But every now and then, I come across one photo – the cliched “a picture is worth a thousands words” type photo – that brings back a flood of feelings – the sounds of music, the scent of wet cobblestone, and the chatter and busyness of people quickly walking to their next destination.
For me, this thousand-word photo was taken on a street in Rome. Although I can’t recall the name of the street, it was paved in stone – as most Roman streets are – and lined on both sides with many, many shops. The street was also long and narrow, much narrower than portrayed in the photo above, and appeared to become even more narrow as it led to the famous Spanish Steps, which happened to be our destination that particular evening. I remember stopping to take the picture in the middle of the street and noticing the contrast between the locals (or those who seemed like locals) rushing home from work and the tourists, busy looking at guide books, taking photos, and chatting away in their smaller groups. And (in the juxtaposition that is life) just as my iPhone instantly captured the scene unfolding around me, the world began to move in slow motion, as if to say, this is your moment to remember.
And to be honest, it isn’t the Spanish Steps that I remember most about that night. I remember the stones in the street, the people hustling by, the cloudy gray sky peaking out in between the old buildings and, most of all, the feeling of having Rome, the Eternal City, stop all around me for just one moment in time.