Sunday, January 08, 2006

A City of Contrasts

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain

A quote that I’ve read time and time again….one which inspires me to find a way to book ‘that trip’ or explore new places before I talk myself out of it. We all have a million things to do, don’t we? Tasks, work, responsibilities. We can either look back at fond memories of things we tried and places we’ve discovered, or with regret at not plunging into the deep end of life.

Life is a series of them, some of our choosing and others that fall into our laps, delighting us as they unravel the mysteries of life. We not only discover and experience new things, but learn more about ourselves in the process.

I’m just back from visiting my son and his girlfriend in the U.K. I smile when I think of how I tell my friends that my house is an older one….close to 45 or so years old. And then I think of one of the signs in Norwich city centre that said “Home to Mayors and Merchants since 1320”. On moment the city was covered in snow from the biggest blizzard in history to the next where the snow was a distant memory as the sun came out and bathed the city in light, warmth (for that time of year) and melted it completely.

It’s a city of contrasts…medieval, with a castle in the city centre perched on the top of the hill. Old bright red telephone booths are strategically placed through the city usually standing empty as everyone walks with a cell phone, talking away. From the cobblestone streets with the old stately Lloyds of London bank, to the ATM machines right next door, old combines with new.

I explored the streets, spoke to the local people, and took hundreds of pictures as each scene was right out of a story book. I know I have to go back in the spring when all the gardens are in full bloom, everything is lush and green and there is more daylight to discover hidden corners, courtyards and tea shoppes.

I don’t ever want to be disappointed by what I didn’t do. I want to explore, dream and discover something new every day. Where will you ‘set sail’ to next? Even if it’s around the corner, I bet there’s some hidden place just waiting to present itself to you if you go looking.

Enjoy the moments…
Donna Karlin

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