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London Calling

“Is it snowing where you are? All the world that I see from my tower is draped in white and the flakes are coming down as big as pop-corns. It’s late afternoon – the sun is just setting (a cold yellow colour) behind some colder violet hills, and I am up in my window seat using the last light to write to you.” ― Jean Webster

My African sunburn was confused. The day before I had been sunning myself on the beach in Diani, Mombasa.  I landed in London in the snow, pretty sure my tiny leather jacket wasn’t going to be enough to shield me from the elements.  And yet, it was all perfectly lovely.  Laughs and long, lingering talks with the incredible Leonie Wise.  Frozen fingers and toes.  Trudging – and then running – through the flakes, chasing people with brightly colored umbrellas against the  landscape, hoping for that perfect shot (mmmm hmmm, I missed it).  And dancing.  There should always be dancing.

“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.” – Rumi

“For the listener, who listens in the snow, / And, nothing himself, beholds /
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.”
– Wallace Stevens

“Well, I know now. I know a little more how much a simple thing like a snowfall can mean to a person.” – Sylvia Plath

Like my previous trip to Barcelona, I again found myself a traveler in a city that normally doesn’t experience snowfall.  Perhaps this should be my motto: “Storm Cynthia; I bring the chill.”  It was cold.  Wet.  I was frozen to my core on each of our adventures.  Intentional camera movement?  Not a problem.  But as I bid farewell to London, I realized that the entire city had become a painting to me, made up mostly of blue and gold watercolors.  And I was oh-so-suddenly warm.

“And marbled clouds go scudding by
The many-steepled London sky.”
― John Betjeman

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