Landmarks of our lives
I enjoy a number of blogs — about history, architecture, photography, arts, crafts, and those of people I’ve come to know and love. (Some of these cover more than one category.)
A recent post from photographer (and writer and film producer) Alessandre de Souza at Gypsy Girl’s Guide reflected on a time and place that changed her life (landmark moment, with a landmark, get it?). Oh, go on, you can read her landmark post (and admire her stunning photograph of a golden and glittery Big Ben) and then come back.
She asks the question
Can you think of any time or landmarks in your life that can teach you something about yourself that you’ve forgotten? We hold so many stories within the gaps… Find something heart warming and worth honoring about your life today.
I’m passing the same question on to you — what do you recall about an important passage in your life, and what built landmark do you associate with that time?
It’s an intriguing thought, this idea of a significant moment in one life bound up in a building. Your historic connection is of life-changing significance, yet will never be part of the site’s written record. It boggles the mind to think of all the unwritten “moments in personal history” that could exist on a single block.
Are you thinking of your life landmark?
As for me….
In terms of transformation, the year I spent in Edinburgh was probably my chrysalis year. While the dark, brooding castle on the Royal Mile overlooking the entire city is a more obvious and iconic landmark, there’s a story about a building on Buccleuch Place. (Pictured above is Buccleuch Place, near the University of Edinburgh.)
College-era. (Pre-computer) That year I packed a suitcase, hugged my folks, and headed off to a foreign country without a place to live. I got to London, got a train to Edinburgh and arrived there at dawn.
I looked at a map in the train station, checked the address on a piece of paper in my bag and made my way to the student housing office on Buccleuch Place as the sun came up. Of course, nothing was open at that hour of the morning, so I sat on the doorstep wondering where I’d find myself at the end of the day.
This building — that doorstep was a leap of faith for me. It represented my ability to be independent and to find my way in the world. (Literally, the world as I was in a foreign country and would spend the rest of the year meeting new people and using holidays to travel through Europe alone.)
After the office opened, and I met with someone on staff who made some calls, I had a new piece of paper with an address scribbled on it. I hailed a cab, loaded in my HUGE oversized suitcase (do they even make them that large anymore?) and headed to the other side of town. The cab pulled up at 35 Drumsheugh Gardens (pictured below). Living there that year changed my life, but it all started on the cold pavement outside that university office as the sun came up.