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May 10, 2012

Return trip expectations

father time pointing to date 12th January on astronomical clock

On the left, just inside the main door of the Lund Cathedral is a wooden astronomical clock built around 1424. Tangled within a euphoric stare five years earlier, I’d marveled at the intricate details, inhaled the aged wood, and relished the silence which filled the air. The experience rooted such a vivid impression that I’d vowed to return. But expectations were paused as my two friends and I walked in to find the clock being cleaned; all its guts taken apart. Two enormous posters illustrating the clocks face blocked the space where workers placed a table with paint brushes and other tools.

My Dutch friend looking at the astronomical clock

The night before we all went to Lund, I’d expected to perhaps feel the same bliss again in those sandstone walls. Maybe I’d even find the little used book store diagonally across the way with the half-dozen stuffed owls perched on the top shelves. Neither was the same. The clock was in pieces, and the book store gone. But somehow I didn’t feel disappointed, just pensive. And ended up discovering a small tucked away surface where an open book, pen and flickering candle sat. The sign beside said in English (and Swedish), “Do you want to share your prayers with others? Please feel free to write them down in this Book of Intercessions. The book is placed on the altar of the Baptism Chapel during The Service of the Holy communion every Tuesday morning at 08.00 am.” I’m not distinctly religious, but decided to write a prayer in the book.

My written prayer in the Book of Intercessions

My return expectations were very different from the reality of being there the second time. Have you ever felt so moved, even years after, to return to a place? What did you find?

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Category: Destinations, Europe, Images from the road, Notes from the collective travel mind

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