“There comes a moment in your life when you realize that no matter how hard you try, you’re never going to be fluent in Spanish. Or go on that African safari you’ve read about since you were a kid. Or be as excited as you used to be about catching fireflies. I keep trying to find my answer to life – and it gets more elusive the older I get.”
― A Total Waste of Makeup
I awoke in the middle of the night in a palace in Prague, Czech Republic. I was drenched in sweat and whimpering softly. We had arrived in Prague the day before and we wanted to overcome jet lag, so we spent the late afternoon sightseeing.
Our Airbnb was close to the Charles Bridge, an historic arched bridge that crosses the Vltava River. There are 30 statues that line the balustrade of the old stone bridge. The oldest statue is that of St. John of Nepomuk. In 1393 St. John of Nepomuk was thrown from the bridge into the river where he drowned. In modern times it has become traditional to touch the toe of St. John here; this is held to bring good fortune and to ensure that the visitor will return to the city of Prague.
Now, neither of us are religious, and old statues of saints and religious figures don’t interest us, but I felt an urge to touch his worn toe for luck…it couldn’t possibly hurt. I wove through the crowds and to the foot of Saint John, where I touched his foot and silently asked Saint John to help us throughout our travels. I guess I wanted to be reassured that we would return to Prague safely in two months’ time for our flight back to the states.