After we left Florence, we headed to Rome, a city filled with “Rich .” history. While in Rome, we were surrounded by sites that I had heard about my entire life. Seeing these famous landmarks left me in awe and even made me feel insignificant at times, but the people I was traveling with and the constant reminders of my faith made me feel significant.
When I walked down the roads, which of course “all led to Rome,” there were thousands of tourists who had all traveled hundreds or even thousands of miles around the world to see the same sites I had also traveled just as far to see. This made me realize that I am just one singular person in a city filled with millions.
Then, as I continued to walk down the roads, I learned that the stones I was walking on were stones that were laid some 2,000 years ago, which have already outlived me 100 times over, and will probably still be on this earth after I die. These stones which seemed to be indestructible, reminded me of the fleeting nature of life.
In Rome, we explored the massive Colosseum, which could hold over 50,000 people. The Colosseum has been around for almost 2,000 years, but we probably won’t even be around for 100. The pure size and age of the Colosseum reminded me again of how small I am and how temporary human life is.
Finally, I was just in awe while touring Villa Aurora with Princess Rita, as she was so knowledgeable and passionate about her family history, Rome, and Villa Aurora itself. Princess Rita’s intellect reminded me of how her passion inspired her learning.
I was completely in awe at all of the sites we visited in Rome and even though they sometimes made me feel insignificant, there were so many sites and experiences that made me feel so significant.
Exploring the Vatican, specifically St. Peter’s Basilica, reminded me that even though I am a singular person in this massive universe, God’s love for me is anything but small. Seeing, the Pieta inside reminded me of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made, showing the pure love He has for every single one of us.
On our second to last night of CR, we passed around sheets of papers with each other’s names on them and wrote about why we would want that specific person in a group, what the individual struggled with on CR and how they overcame those challenges, one word to describe the person and why you chose that word, and finally why we appreciate that person in one sentence. Later, Dr. P read each of these to the group. Learning that other members of the familia wanted me in their group because of my positivity and encouragement was very affirming. Also, the word used to describe me was empathetic. I really appreciated that word because lots of times people describe me as being nice to others, but I think empathetic has more depth and shows that I genuinely care about others. This night definitely made every single one of us feel significant.
On the final night of CR, we gave awards to each other. Receiving the “Too Good to be True, But Actually is True” award from Sarah, the “All-Around Best Communicator” award from Griffin, and the “The Person Most Likely to Know Your Deepest Darkest Secret/Most Likely to Find on the Floor/Biggest Heart” award from Kevin, was so meaningful, and definitely made me feel significant. Knowing that I had impacted the lives of the other members of CR, just as much as they had impacted mine was so touching for me.
We ended our CR adventures by making a huge mega-bed, reading through all of our CR quotes, and appreciating each other’s presence.
Even though the historical sites in Rome left me feeling both insignificant and in awe, the constant reminders of my faith and the people I was surrounded with made me feel so significant.
Sending love from Iowa (which for the record has bad corn),