by Annina Melliger
Hard footsteps in the dead of morning, heard walking down the muted calico-like cobble-stoned streets. The clean, crisp air pricks our cheeks, drawing crimson blood to the surface. As the deepest, most saturated violet velvet of the vast heavens above barely begin to pale into an indigo hue, we look up at the stars and I see Orion’s bejeweled belt. The cool cobalt color of the sky reflects our somber moods, influencing our conversation as we continue our meandering journey out of the heart of the city onto the less-traversed paths and alleys and wide open pastures. The beryl blue lingering light enveloping us in its comfortable atmosphere implores us to dwell a while longer, calmly reminding us of all the reflective conversations yet to be had in this lush jade wilderness yet to be explored. Abruptly, Helios’ fiery surge of blazing golden rays irrevocably slash through the hazy horizon. The flaming flood of arrows pierces the altocumulus clouds in the troposphere, wounding and staining their underbellies, transforming them into a mural of glowing luminosity. I gaze in wonder at the painted masterpiece before me.
As my friend and I continue to wander to and fro, arbitrarily choosing which way to go, I am at times pulled back into reality when I look around and find I am nowhere near anything I recognize. Confident that my friend knows the way, however, I fix my attention upon the changing Panorama with a serene and peaceful mind, not bothered about trying to keep my bearings. The houses and buildings, the Landscape and the Scenery are not the ones I have come to know by sight, but they are still beautiful. We walk a long way, watching Aurora’s glory intensify. I love this City, and I know that is because this wondrous place is so much more than the houses that one sees.
When I recognize my surroundings once again, I am abandoned, to view the City on my own. This is what I saw:
A City is not just made up of its houses and buildings; they are certainly a part of the charm, but what strikes me as even more inherent to the City is its Landscape: it changes less because it is not man-made. Scenery is less fickle than the buildings. Yet, Scenery may still change, according to the vigor, or lack thereof, of the sun in the morning to burst through the clouds, or its passion in the evening, or lack thereof, to light up the sky with its red fire. I have come to the conclusion, that it is neither buildings nor scenery which make up a City, but only the people alone. These creatures are the ones to give life and breath and body to a City; without them, the City is lost. It is their footsteps on its wandering paths, which make any City come alive. Without them, this City is dead.
(image from: Linesmachine, Plymouth Sound Sunrise, http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewlines/8022611761/)