Peace, path, prayer. Three things that one can obtain when visiting a religious place, going on a pilgrimage or during sacred festivals. We had the chance to see this beautiful church in a town called Lourdes in France as a family during the summer of 2015.
The church walls and stairs carrying its history and us up to the top. Not a word said, not a sound made, in awe, we admire the beautiful paintings and interior of the building. Confused as to whether I should stand and admire the moment or capture the memory to look back to. Later, realising that the moment was special compared to see the picture, as such a moment can not be encapsulated. I can not describe that moment even to you through my words, the atmosphere, emotion, and setting were so calm.
Climbing up the hill as a family as we stop at each point, we read the story and explained it to one another. Learning about another religion felt a lot different in the actual context rather than within four walls opposite you teacher lecturing you. The surrounding was so peaceful, with nothing to distract you from your prayer and communication with God. The amazement was never ending and the place seemed as big as a town as we discovered more.
Everyday, we took the same path to the church, but every time we reacted the same way we had the first time saw it. Every person on the narrow streets acknowledged one another with a smile or a greeting- something that is quite foreign in London. We are all so busy in London, late for the bus or train or worrying, sometimes when spontaneously someone smiles or greets me on the road it makes me happy and appreciative. So, a note from this journey- acknowledging your surrounding and someone can simply make things happier.
-Thoughts by Shiha