Before It’s All Gone

The Temple of Baalshamin

“One of a number of sanctuaries in the city (of Palmyra) that demonstrates the great wealth of the Palmyrenes. Palmyra and much of the Roman Near East was rich in cultural diversity, a diversity expressed in many ways, including by means of art and architecture”

…an article on says.

An archeological monument that demonstrates the blend of cultures in “The Cradle of Civilization”.

“The temple building dated to c. 130 AD and represents an addition to a sanctuary that already existed by 17 AD”

17 AD. A neat 2000th anniversary next year. Fancy a trip to the Middle East?

Before you buy the tickets – hold on.

The temple is no more.

That’s actually how I was reminded of it yesterday night. Stumbling upon an article that described how it was flattened.


Reading the article saddened me. Something beautiful – no more to be seen. I missed my chance! Who could have imagined that? It was there for the past twenty centuries. Who would have said that it would not last a few years more?

Can the other places too, disappear?

Climbing the stairs to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Walking around the Trevi Fountain. Hearing the echo of my whispers within the walls of the Prague Castle.

Moments I take for granted.

But they aren’t.

Lyrics from Meghan Trainor’s song come to my mind:

In the blink of an eye
Just a whisper of smoke
You could lose everything
The truth is you never know

So what to do about it?

Expect Disaster

As Derek Sivers puts it: “You appreciate things more when you know this may be your last time seeing them.”

I know that Derek is right.

And so, this morning, as I was walking along the riverside, I looked at the panorama of Prague’s bridges, Petřín hill and the Prague Castle, with a changed pair of eyes. As if it was my last chance to see it.

In that moment, it did not matter that the sky was cloudy. That I slept too few hours. Or that I had a way too busy day ahead. I was standing there, taking a mental photograph. To remember every detail. To be prepared. For the improbable, yet not impossible moment – that the Prague castle ever was to – disappear.

A changed pair of eyes.

Such a difference on a cloudy Wednesday morning.

Featured image by Bernard Gagnon, taken from Wikipedia, under Creative Commons licence. Brightness of the image adjusted.

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