Sunday, June 23, 2013

"Behind Walls"

Cities Behind  Walls

For thousands of years, humans have been defending their cities by building large walls around them. Over time, the cities spill over the walls ~ but sometimes they remain “hemmed in”!  Research shows there are hundreds and hundreds of these throughout our domain where walls are still evident today ~
many built in ancient times.

12 Impressive Walled Cities in the World

YORK, England:  Founded by the Romans, taken over by the Anglos, captured by
the Vikings and finally incorporated by the Kingdom of England in 954.

HARAR is ancient walled city in eastern Ethiopia.  It is still intact, becoming the symbol of the city.

TAROUDANT has the best preserved walls in Morocco and often called “Grandmother of Marrakech”.

TOLEDO, Spain:  An often overlooked gem, it was capital of the Spanish Empire until mid 1500's.

PINGYAO, China is the best preserved walled city in the world.  
 It has 72 watch towers and 6 majestic gates in which to enter.

OBIDOS, Portugal: The castle and walls of the village were remodelled in the 18th century.

XIAN, China has a history of more than 3100 years.

ITCHAN  KALA, Uzbekistan, built of sun dried brick walls has 4 gates each side of the fortress.

AVILA, Spain...a medieval city built on the flat summit of a rocky hill.

CARCASSONNE, France is the largest walled city in Europe.

JERUSALEM, Israel is a holy city to 3 religions ! Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

DUBROVNIK, Croatia is nicknamed “Pearl of the Adriatic.”

Other Significant Walls

The Walls of Jericho:  (according to the Biblical narrative)
The first battle of the Israelites during the conquest of Canaan was the “felling of the city's walls” after Joshua's army marched around the city blowing their trumpets.(158 Bible verses can be referenced.)

The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made up of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood and other materials ~ across the historical northern borders to protect the Chinese empire against intrusion by various warlike peoples or forces.  It measures approximately 5,500 miles

The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the East German government  in August 1961 to prevent its citizens from fleeing to the West.  For 28 years, the Berlin Wall was the symbolic boundary between Democracy and Communism during the Cold War.

Quebec City, Canada:  Its “Old City” ramparts are the only fortified city walls in the Americas, north of Mexico that still exist.  This city, along the St. Lawrence River, is a tourist attraction to view both its quaintness of the old…and the modern of its expanded population.

Animals Behind Walls

Mice...are often heard scratching in walls and ceilings of private homes.
Opossums, Raccoons and Squirrels frequently invade attics for nesting.
Roof Rats are common in Florida.
Snakes often winter below ground near dwelling basement walls, as told me by a Burlington friend who with fright told me that a couple had slipped through a window into a cosy warm room. WOW!

Humans have an insatiable fascination with wild animals.  Every year, millions of people travel safaris and visit zoo enclosures to see them.  Nearby in Rockton is The African Lion Safari a truly magnificent place for families to view tall giraffes, kingly lions, playful monkeys, in spacious almost-natural-habitats. Also consider the many people who cage canaries, parakeets, parrots…even gerbils.

People Live “Behind Various Types of Walls”

In some countries, the entire property is high-fenced or surrounded by walls. Overnight, even their cars are brought within the enclosure.  When visiting family in Santiago, Chile a few years ago,  this was “the norm.”  Walls were gardened with ivies, with grape vines and climbing flowers.  Each home seemed protected…as a castle.  The same was true, also in Buenos Aires. Here at home, residences are often now found within “gated communities” or high-rise condominiums.

Sad it is when men, women and often teens are imprisoned or confined  to guarded lifestyles and those who are relegated to spend the remainder of their lives in nursing home facilities or even mental institutions. Behind these walls, their lives are dictated to, are guarded 24 hours daily and given limited opportunities to fill in the gaps where once they had great interest.

Behind the “walls of a home”, how often it is when a family appears to have a great lifestyle!  Parents come and go perhaps with attractive vocations…children have their school activities and recreational interests…a couple cars in the driveway and maybe a boat…and it appears to the neighbours that “this family has it all.”  Yet, behind closed doors,  verbal or emotional abuse, even physical abuse may exist.

During my job days of teaching and sales, I’ve met a few individuals who “hide behind their secrets.”   They live a Life of Pretense!  We really…don’t know them! 
                          They fear showing their true identity.
                          They will falsify facts to make themselves feel important.
                          They may have fallen “into a dark valley” due to past circumstances.
                          They long to have achieved  much more in life.
                          They may feel insecure and lacking confidence.
                          They may feel threatened by an impending illness.
                          They may feel rejected by friends and society.
Consequently, they put up fences and “build walls around themselves.” Therefore, others cannot invade or penetrate their secrets. Of course, one can always do as Shirley Valentine did in movie of the same name ~ Talk to the Wall!

Yet, Walls Can Be Broken Down!
 Primarily, one must recognize the “need for help!”

                                          Seek someone in whom you can confide.
                                          Step “outside the box” and “go beyond  your borders.”
                                          Develop a “positive attitude.”
                                          Adopt new policies to live by.
                                          Learn new skills through knowledge and experience.
                                          Attend group meetings and create new friendships.
                                          Become involved in projects.
                                          Go beyond the “normal call of duty!”
                                          Become a Better You…Happiness will reign!

                         Joseph Campbell wrote:  Follow your bliss ~ and the Universe 
                               will open doors for you, where  there were only walls.
Words of Wisdom

I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
(Maya Angelou)

It’s not the mistakes that matter…it’s how you recover from them.
(from Barbara Freethy’s novel ~ Garden of Secrets)

Merle Baird-Kerr…crafted May 5, 2013
Comments always welcome…scroll down…may sign in as “anonymous”
or e-mail…


  1. AN ARDENT FOLLOWER has commented:
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  2. Thank you for your comment ~ and felt it worthy of forwarding to friends. Your enthusiasm inspires me!