Saturday, November 10, 2007
We are in the throes of fall. It's cold outside. It gets dark way too early. And I think the wind just woke up from a long nap. I spent most of the day in a state of discovery. I woke up ready to explore. Ready to be my own version of Lewis & Clark, except I didn't wander through dark forests and intimidating woods with large, feral animals. I was merely walking through the rather tame streets of London, taking in the sights and sounds, absorbing as much as I could into that great space we call memory.
I first ventured out into the unknown territory of the Victoria and Albert Museum. It is huge, and I think I saw maybe 7.9 percent of the place. The rooms were great vacuums of all things old. And the lighting is that dim, barely-enough-to-read-those-tiny-labels- kind of light. It was vast, expansive, and too much for me to take in, so after I made my way through the Chinese and Japanese collections, I quickly found an exit and headed off to my next stop.
Next stop comfortable couch and warm drink. That meant heading to one of my favorite local bookstores/cafes. Grabbing a sandwich along the way, once inside the cafe I ordered my drink and sunk into a big, overstuffed couch. Yes. Now that the mood and atmosphere had been set, all that was left was for me to open my book and start reading. Which I gladly did, for over an hour. It just so happened that I had a great book with me, Lewis's "The Pilgrims Regress". I was quickly wrapped up in the story, stopping only to take sips from that wonderfully warm beverage I ordered (okay, it happened to be a chai latte...).
But the adventurous side of me would not let me stay there forever, so I found a good place to stop in the book and moved to my next task: figuring out what I would do with the rest of the afternoon. Then I suddenly had the bright idea to walk all the way back home from the bookstore. Not hard, I figured, it being a crisp, clear day, and me being young and energetic. Well yes, it turned out to be a great idea over all, just a great 2 hour idea. haha.
Allow me to go off on a tangent about walking for just a moment. You know, back in the states (oh goodness help me, I'm calling my home "the states", how goofy does that sound?) we just don't walk very much. From here to there is usually travelable by car, and startlingly few roads have sidewalks beside them. So it seems much easier to just drive places, even places that are within walking distances. But you know, I'm realizing this semester the tiny shards of happiness found in walking somewhere. As someone who I cant remember said, there is joy in the journey. To do when I get back to America: walk more.
Well after that rather exciting first half of the day, I decided to camp out at the house the rest of the day. Good choice. I read some more. I watched a movie. Had some soup. Unwound. You know, just enjoying being alive and being where I am. We must stop every now and again, or else we will miss the subtle things that happen all around us. After all, it's the little things in life. It's the little things.