This past weekend I had the privilege of being a complete tourist in London town.
One of my friends from my old university came for a visit and as host, I was obliged to take up the role of guide, which has always been my cue to put on my best tourist outfit.
Saturday presented a grey but surprisingly dry day. We walked round and round through Borough Market, Southbank, Trafalgar Square, Saint James Park, Buckingham Palace, Parliament, the Eye, and back at Aldwych for her much-needed Vancouver throwback dinner at Nando’s.
Sunday, however, impressed upon us (or at least me), a completely different picture. It was sunny.
Do you know how rare that is?
It was an absolutely incredible Autumn day.
It hit me hard on my way back from Victoria Station where I had waved goodbye to my friend.
The bus was trudging along to the traffic, one of its window was pushed open, the chill Fall breeze blew through the vehicle and I caught a glimpse of one of the most magical aspects of this city: gardens.
Or squares, or parks, or whatever you’d like to call them.
I had no clue which garden this was, but it was a very small square, with a quaint fountain as its centrepiece.
The afternoon light was just right that it shone through the green-to-gold leaves of the four trees standing guard at each corner. They were shedding for the winter and the wind picked up the drifters, swirling them into the light and transforming them into sparkling dancers that floated gently down onto the benches, onto the stones, into the water, and passed the pedestrians.
It was only for a second, but the image of that quiet, undisturbed garden will stand as one of the most beautiful glimmers of Autumn I have ever witnessed.
Nimrod by Elgar helped frame all of this into a splendid piece of art.
What a wonderful place to be.