On our way back to Çanakkale for the night, we took an unplanned wander off the highway towards the Ancient Greek town of Assos (now Behramkale). The sun was slipping away quickly, and though we were in an ever-so-slight hurry to find a place to sleep before nightfall, the hills were ablaze in all shades of marigold, pulling us out of the car to explore the ruins on the side of the hilltop.
I felt a sadness creep into me as I walked through what was once the agora of a bustling town. Someday our own towns and cities will lie empty and crumbled, and we will become nameless too, lost to time. My mind was full of useless questions about the people whose feet moved in step with mine, who leaned against these columns, who dreamed and loved and fought here.
I learned that Aristotle came to Assos at one point in his life and married the king's daughter before moving to Macedonia, where he would teach none other than Alexander the Great. Surely Aristotle stared across at Lesbos and watched the land burn orange too.
I think it's wise to remind ourselves every now and then of how small we really are— even if you are an Aristotle. What feels massive and overwhelming, is very often a mosquito's hum in the grand scheme of things.