It was the first weekend in March. That dreadful in-between time when winter is tired and spring is timid. When the days are long enough to give hope but too short to give joy. When dry cold turns into a wet cold. And then there was a Saturday of sunshine, and two sisters in need of a weekend escape.
What better than to hop across the pond to Tallinn and spend a day listening to the layers of the city? The walls do talk, and they whisper stories of great battles, bloodshed, flourishing trade, and of an ancient city that through the ages has boasted more than five names. We dove into the kilometers of criss-crossing bastion tunnels to hear tales of great escapes from war, illness, and persecution.
As I walked the worn cobblestone streets I could not help but wonder: why is it that the most beautiful cities also have the bloodiest history? And why do we associate fortresses with beauty, when they are built for war and death and suffering? Today Tallinn in the sun is beautiful. Other sunny first weekends in March have been quite different.
And suddenly there was another hue to the light shining on the city walls, reflecting from the gilded cathedral cupolae, and bouncing on the market square. It was the hue of life-despite-the-hurt, sprinkled with wisdom-of-age, and topped with a dash of pride. Despite the struggles and battles in the past and the future, or perhaps because of them, today Tallinn is vibrant, and beautiful in the sun.
(Tallinn, Estonia; March 2014)