I woke up apprehensive about the upcoming trip to London. Most of my passion has been invested in the experience of Paris, that I almost forgot that I would be extending some of that energy into the United Kingdom. After tolerating the protocol of Customs or Border Security and rushing on the Eurostar’s high speed rail, I pledged that my only blueprint for London would be to simply see what it offers. And in the less than 24 hours that I’ve been in this royally fantastic city, I’ve truly been astonished.
If there’s anything that I’ve learned, it is that London’s bridges are absolutely extraordinary. As Marco and I walked throughout the Centre of London, I was perplexed by the amount of architectural wisdom that set forth such beautiful works. We made our way throughout Westminster via the ‘tube’ as the Brits call it and paraded through a crowd of people also adoring England’s finest history. The “London Eye” stood beside us across the Thames River and the sky painted itself beautiful to make a lovely accent. The “Big Ben” hovered over us and as I gazed at the big clock that I often saw as transition clips in movies, I realized that I had just plummeted into a global reverence. As our stroll through the city continued, so did the amazing unforeseen events and sights of London’s bridges.
Yes, I’m referring to the glowing Millennium Bridge, forestressing Tower Hill, and magnificent London Bridge, but I’m also talking about something sublime. Today, I was able to witness real deal powerhouses of England, and no I did not meet Princess Kate Middleton (yet). Avid music fans know that many wonders have derived from the United Kingdom; most recently, the lovely songstress Adele, and the now deceased but still dynamic Amy Winehouse. As we walked throughout the streets of London, we saw many sharing their talents. Scottish men sat over the Westminster Bridge and played some of their instruments. And just before the Tower Hill bridge we were captivated by the command of a woman’s voice and acoustic talent.
Finally, having endured another long day of walking we made our way to “Little Bay” restaurant. When we arrived we were in for a surprise because it was Opera night. As I began to eat my Steak and Chips and Marco dove into his Chicken, we were serenaded by a man in high boots and tights singing Opera. And I must admit, he was good! I never thought I would ever walk into a restaurant and literally hear a man in the aisles sharing the perfection of his bravado.
The London skies truly impressed me today. And so did the London talent. Although many of them were sharing for the sake of soliciting, I reckon that they understand their strengths and talents. This is truly essential to our survival in life and is evident for the people who I organically became an audience to. Many of us have talents but the question is, do we know what they are? Can we truly identify our strengths? And if we can do both of these things sincerely, are we sharing them for the betterment of the world? Are we being stifled? And why? Seems like a huge responsibility on our parts, especially to combat the things that hinder us from flourishing – but I believe if we invest in our strengths and talents it will not only teach us survival. Lastly, after hearing a woman share her wonderful voice for just change, I realized understanding your strengths can also teach you compassion. And when we are given compassion, it is our duty to pay it forward. So, this evening as I prepare for a night out in London, my only hope is that she pays forward the two pounds I left in her guitar case.