Tucked away between embassies and busy roads in Washington DC’s beautiful Kalorama neighborhood is a small, urban getaway. I found these stairs by accident, about a ten-minute walk from our Washington DC Hotel after having just moved to DC.
Now, there are those that would argue that these are just stairs, nothing more, nothing less. And what is so special about a set of stairs? But for me, these stairs make it easier to appreciate the beauty of ordinary things and remind me that there is an undeniable charm to small details. And maybe, I happened to stumble upon them at the right place at the right time in the right mindset, but the experience for me was grand.
The stairs were surrounded by flowering trees, inhabited by squirrels and birds and other urban critters. There were short ledges and rocks on the outskirts, which seemed like a perfect place to bring a book. Then there was the fountain. As you walk up the stairs, they split at every top, where a small fountain is erected. I found this fountain subtly breathtaking–the type of breathtaking that doesn’t happen immediately upon seeing the object, but rather after gazing at it for some time, taking in the details. A small lion’s head is carved into the stone, spewing water into a basin, which overflows into a larger pool. I peered down at the water and noticed pennies and red and purple leaves sunken to the bottom. There was nobody around, just me and the sound of running water, and for a moment I forgot about the cars and crowds cities comes with.
I can’t wait to see how the autumn season and fallen leaves transform the steps. If nothing else, come to the Spanish Steps
to close your eyes, throw a penny in the fountain, and wish for more places just like this.