The Happiest Day
The London Underground is a marvel of construction, moving countless travelers hither and yon safely and in relative comfort. Mind you, I am well aware that my limited experience with this particular public transport may render my fairly positive review suspect to the many Londoners who use it every day, but on the occasions I’ve opted for tube over taxi I’ve found it to be an efficient, if not especially aesthetic, choice.
On a warm morning last month, I hopped on the District Line at Sloane Square en route to South Kensington station where I began the long walk through the tunnel that leads directly into the V and A Museum. The tunnel is not very attractive and no doubt would elicit feelings of claustrophobia in those with even the slightest leanings in that direction. A few moments inside its tiled walls made me long for fresh air. I had stepped up my pace as I made my way through the twists and turns, anxious to get my trek over with as quickly as possible, when I became aware of a heavenly sound. Lilting, silvery notes, as harmonious to the ear as they were incongruous with the setting, were flowing through the tunnel, reflecting off every subway tile in overlapping echoes of beauty. A violinist was playing Mozart. And in a twinkling, the nondescript became celestial.
It is perhaps the gift of the grateful to be blessed with armloads of “happiest” days. Ever since I received the email with this month’s BIO topic, I have been rifling through my memories in a concentrated effort to pull out the best one to share. My wedding day, all red roses, winter cold and candlelight? The night we brought a tired and hungry Edward home to stay and watched as he curled up contentedly beside the Christmas tree? The recent afternoon I sat on a ledge in Glencoe, thrilled with the magnificence laid out before me? But try as I might, I could not manage to silence the song that violin sang out deep beneath the grey of a London street.
The happiest lives belong to those who own the happiest days. There are the gilded days - weddings and births, Christmas and holidays - that take their rightful places on pedestals in our memories. But if we can manage to find beauty and happiness in the midst of the everyday, then we are truly fortunate indeed.
The sky today was storybook blue. The trees were scarlet and golden. It was warm enough to drive with my windows down and as I sat at a red light on a leafy street, a sunbeam fell into my car. I closed my eyes and lifted my face to the light as it painted bright pictures on the inside of my eyelids. I laughed a lot today. I ran into an old friend at the market. I walked Edward at dusk and was rewarded with many a furry smile as I did so. I ate a Honeycrisp apple for dessert tonight. It was crunchy, juicy, sweet. I told people I loved them and was told the same by others.
And I could swear I heard a violin playing all day long.
It was the happiest day.
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