My favourite thing about walking with people who know Edinburgh better than I do is that whenever we pass something important, beautiful, or worth mentioning, they tell me about it. Some people will point out the significance of a statue, or the name of a building, or tell me that this is the place they went on their first date with the person who is now their wife or that that restaurant is their favourite or that they once threw up on those steps.
I’ve walked down the same streets with different people and each time, I learn something new. I love it. Old streets becoming new again. It’s almost overwhelming to fathom how many billions of memories every street holds. I feel this especially in old cities. There are ghosts waiting beyond every corner, faded polaroids of the good ol’ days when everything was golden, even you. The shop windows are stained with grief and happiness. In every crack on the sidewalk, there is longing; there is pain; there is joy.
Our stories, and the stories of the people who came before us, and the stories of people who will come after us live on these streets. These cobbled roads are the graveyards for lost dreams and broken hearts, and tragedy. But they are also the birthplace of first kisses and new friendships, and reconciliations.
Some people believe that to understand what somebody else is going through, you must first walk a mile in their shoes but I don’t think that’s true. No two people walk the same path in life despite where our feet may tread. I follow the faded footsteps entrenched in these busy streets and think about home, the rushing wind, the faraway spring, my aching bones, the memories that are etched in this pavement like scars and everything that is still yet to be experienced.