Stepping into what used to be the Grand Hall; all that’s left is moss and broken stones. The energy of lives that once filled this room still vibrates in the air, though weakened after hundreds of years. Green and golden hues fill each and every crevice and crack. Spiral staircase towers and medieval architectural planning construct a playground. Curiosity all consuming, it pulls me to each new doorway. I skip down halls, dance through old bed chambers, giggle with an adolescent excitement as I climb my way up to the top, taking the steps two at a time.
The ceiling crumbled centuries ago, but I would wager that the princesses and princes who once lived here would have preferred it this way – natural light exposing every thoughtful detail, inscribed initials and family crests. Grand windows would have once let light kiss the floors, but now the sun’s rays flood every room without obstruction.
Window seats provide the same function they were once intended for; sitting, gazing, wondering. The journal comes out, the pen pours ink. What is it that’s making my heart burst here? I’m in love with this place. I’m in love with the way I feel here; enchanting, magnificent.
Something so grand that makes me feel so minute and humbled. People felt here, people loved here, people lived here. Their entire world reduced to rubble around me. Joys and sorrows long forgotten, but still present – the taste of abandoned ruins is so bittersweet. It’s a spiritual experience to truly recognize evidence of other worlds than your own; the palpability of knowing you make up less than one second in the clock of the world and its history.
All the wonders of the world don’t compare to what I’ve unearthed here. It’s a storybook, and coming here in solitude is allowing me to understand how I am in fact my own fairytale ending. I am a princess, twirling about in what used to be the King’s Throne Room. I record a mental movie of myself in this moment, later to be projected onto my dreams, and I continue on my way.