Today I walked London
But London, gray London, is beautiful if given its chance. It’s the sidewalks that I love. They seem to stretch so long and almost I don’t want to stop walking in the morning, just to see where they might take me. They don’t seem to be cut short like so many New York streets, and maybe it’s because they are more empty, but they seem to breathe and puff in the morning like a long distance runner full of optimism and wearing no stop watch. I can almost see the sidewalks’ breath steaming from the cracks, rising in a dewy cloud above the Plane trees and wrapping about the chimney stacks of Ladbroke Grove, before finally lifting into the dawn sky and greeting a gathering of blackbirds headed toward Notting Hill.
It’s a bit magical this place. With the brick and stone and bone-cold air in the winter. It brings to mind medieval hardships. It’s a castle and bales of hay and shivering peasants. It’s blushed and raw and blistered. This is an ancient city wearing a modern coat, and on the coldest winter day, you can catch the glint of steel beneath its furs. And like some old kind-hearted king, you can sense its grinning grandeur.
I walk the London sidewalks with shining eyes, notice the gray and so many shades, like a rainbow dipped in lead, and begin to believe in destiny. You just keep walking and puffing, and then you’ll see.