For a few days, I am taking time to slow down. On the morning of Christmas Day, I walked to the top of a hill and looked over this view of Edinburgh, the city where I was born and lived a total of about 12 of my first 24 years of life. Though I have never lived here since it is my home town and the history of the city and my history within it felt strong on that morning.
As I stood and paused looking at this view, I was listening to a recording of a recent concert by The Lumineers that I was at. The song “Slow it Down” played as I gazed at this view.
Scanning the view in the photo:
- In our busy modern world, the hills in the bottom left have been unchanged for countless millenia.
- As you look inwards from 9 o’clock, you have Edinburgh Castle, dating back to well before 1000 AD.
- Following the slope of the hill down, you can see the Scottish Parliament, opened only in 2004, but resonant of a nation reclaiming itself after two hundred years under the rule of others.
- Slide your view just a little to the right and then you have, ironically, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland.
- Look up a little from there are the cranes mark major redevelopment in the centre of the city, linked to the Scottish Government having moved to newer offices since devolution, hence room for new buildings to go in that space.
- Just in from 3 o’clock you can also see the Forth rail bridge and the new Queensferry Crossing behind it, with both bridges masked in fog at their lower levels, reminding me of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco.
With all of this, as I listened to “Slow it Down”, I felt the different paces of history within and around this ancient city more and more as I simply slowed down to observe and be present.
I leave you with “Slow it Down” from The Lumineers:
Also published on Medium.