Cracked but beautiful

“Old things are always in good repute, present things in disfavor.”

– Tacitus

In France, I was excited to see this cracked old historical metal plate on an ancient wall in the town of Chenonceau.  It was close to the ground on a public street’.  Maybe about a foot tall.  There was no signage or indication it was anything special.  Me, however, I was welling up with enthusiasm.  I felt like I found a treasure on the sidewalk!  If this was in Canada surely a museum would build up around this.  Cracked and rusty, nonetheless, it was a little piece of magic for me.  I welled up with questions.  How many years has it been affixed to the wall?  How many tourists and locals have walked past it unawares?  What does it symbolize?  Who put it there so close to the ground?  Why isn’t it in a museum?

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This embodies what I love about Europeans.  They value what is beautiful.  In becoming old, an object becomes even more valuable and precious, impossible to replace, destined to crumble, but honored just the same.

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