Look Down

When Phil Rosenthal walks around a new city, he looks down a lot. Mainly because “he doesn’t wanna step in anything,” he says. In Lisbon, however, Phil found a better reason to look down: The sidewalk looks absolutely gorgeous.

Wherever you go, black and white limestones alternate to form beautiful patterns. Circles, squares, waves, even royal emblems and other elaborate images have found their way into Lisbon’s mosaic pavement. Originally said to have emerged so the king could parade around on his newly gifted rhinoceros care-free, 500 years later, “Portuguese pavement” is world-famous – and still free to marvel at for any visitor.

Sometimes, those visitors think rather deeply about the art beneath their feet. Like Phil, who ponders: “What does it say about a place [when even] the thing underfoot is beautiful?” If you ask this fellow sidewalk-observer, I think it says that love is in the details; that beauty is all around us; and that life happens everywhere, not just wherever we happen to be most engaged – and especially not just in our heads.

Don’t just look where you’re headed. Look up. Look around. And most of all, remember to look down. Sometimes, the best part of your day will hide beneath the soles of your shoes.