天涯海角, I'll follow you to the edge of the world. Saint Malo is one of those places that transports you to another place and time, where the sky, sea and sand blend into one another in perfect harmony.
It was a beautiful day just on the cusp of winter, one that felt refreshingly cool in the ocean breeze, yet just warm enough under the midday sun. We entered the walled city, and climbed up the 20-foot walls that surrounded and had once defended its inhabitants. Just a little elevation, and you could see miles off the coast of northwestern France.
There was something about this place that set me into a reverie.
The sky felt so expansive I could reach out and touch its wondrous clouds. The waves were so soft I dreamt that it could carry me over the calm, blue sea. And the sand that glowed golden under the sun, was definitely one of the finest and purest I had ever seen.
With walls full of canons, the city stood majestically on the edge of the sea.
Yet no matter how grand or powerful it claimed to be, it will never be able to conquer beyond land into the seas. Yes, despite humanity's relentless hunger to control and conquer land, we are and will always remain at the mercy of the environment we live and breathe. The ocean, a world far too deep for us to grasp, could rise and swallow us if it so pleased.
But that day, it was calm and breathed in peace.
So I wondered what cities would be like if humankind weren't so greedy to strip places like this of all their resources. If we had just decided to give back to the them as much as we took, gave them a chance to renew, rebuild and breathe. Instead, in order to advance our lives, we wreaked havoc upon theirs. We used them again and again until they fell apart, worn, old and abused.
How will civilization grow and evolve? Will industrialization sweep across the world and all cities become the next London, Shanghai, and New York? Booming and alive, full of energy and progress? Will we feel proud of ourselves?
Will it be known as the pinnacle of all civilization? Or the fall of humanity?