Going to Familiar Places

There’s this place I go often called “La salle des Pas Perdus”.

The Hall of Lost Footsteps. 

That’s the literal translation.

It’s a wide, empty room made exceptionally bright by its white floors and impressive skylight windows.

There are little wooden benches in the middle with fake trees next to them. Whenever I go I like to sit on one, always the same.

Sometimes I look at the old pictures on the wall instead.

The Hall hasn’t changed much in the hundred and more years since it opened as a part of Windsor Station (Canada’s first heritage railway station).

The Hall of Lost Footsteps is the best name anyone could ever find for this place.

Millions of people have walked in and out of there. Travelers going to unfamiliar places or coming back to familiar ones.

So many footsteps whose trace has long disappeared from the white immaculate floor.

I usually day dream about the lives of these people I see on the black and white images of the very same room I stand in.

Where have their steps gone to?

Today I thought of my own instead.

The invisible thread retracing my steps that my mind created tells me one thing: I keep going to familiar places. 

Living in the city where there is absolutely no shortage of new places to discover, I still go down the same roads. The same paths.

Tonight my feet took me to a street I have been on, one, two, too many times. As I walked by the usual shops, the new boutiques, the corner on which my ex-boyfriend used to live and the familiar sight of the cars on the highway below, I thought of all those steps of mine I could see if they somehow never got lost.

It’s easy to not take them into account when your feet leave no traces.

I was standing there with the cold wind in my face and I realized that maybe I should start taking the direction of my steps seriously.

What good is it to always walk mindlessly if it takes us to the same roads again and again?

It seems to me like going to familiar places does leave a trace in the end.

It’s something that starts but doesn’t end with your feet.

Going to the same places is akin to doing the same things.

If you want to conquer new terrains and new things maybe it’s worth it to stop going to familiar places.

Where do your footsteps go?

*Photo Credit: Rob Gallop flickr Creative Commons 2.0 


3 thoughts on “Going to Familiar Places

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