I spent the day walking through the parks of London. The purple and white crocuses along with the daffodils have all opened their sleepy winter heads and created an expansive colorful display in the dreariness of the wet day. I have been quite lucky with the weather. The first three days were sunny and warm and many times I removed my jacket and took in the sunshine. Not typical London weather in March I'm told.
I walked through Kensington gardens, Hyde Park, and James Garden. London, with its old buildings and new modern architecture, is actually surrounded by lush gardens. Weeping willows hang over lovely ponds. Little cottages grace the entrances of flowering trees, and long sprawls of grass are left unplanned so people can play football (soccer for the Americans).
As I made my way to Covent Market, I met a woman on the Tube who not only gave me directions but also led me to the Market. Open air along with indoor shops, this quaint shopping area is filled with crafts, artwork, and street performers.
I sat outside with a cup of tea and a decadent chocolate cupcake (it was almost too pretty to eat) from Ellas Bakehouse. I licked at the sweet, sparkly frosting as the voices of two performers filled the marketplace with songs from La Bohemme. How perfect the moment was as I people-watched, listened to the music, and drank tea. I love to visit museums, shop, and take in historical sites when I visit new places, but it's moments like eating a cupcake or meeting Val, that make me stop, be present and sincerely enjoy life.
As I walked through the courtyard of St. Paul's church adjacent to Covent Market I hear piano music from inside the church. I went inside and saw a woman in sweats and a baseball cap playing. The music she created seemed impossible to create with only two hands. I sat down, closed my eyes, and let the music fill me. It was if I was sitting in a concert hall listening to one of the great masters. Yes, today was filled with moments of pure bliss that I never expected. It wasn't a day of seeing a great masterpiece of art or a mind-blowing musical or even visiting the great treasures of the country. It was just simple moments that took my breath away that I will remember forever.