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.
To read the other essays on The Happiest Day,
THANK YOU so much.ReplyDelete
Without a doubt Pamela, you are one of the happiest bloggers I know, your writing radiates pure joy.ReplyDelete
To find beauty in the tube tunnel outside the V&A is happiness indeed.ReplyDelete
Oooo Pamela …… you sent shivers down my spine with your words. A beautiful take on our BIO subject this month. Our happiest days are not the outrageous, the materialistic or money led. They are in the simple everyday and usually the free things . I shall be listening for that violin today ! XXXXReplyDelete
Oh, what joy so beautifully expressed. Thank you.ReplyDelete
Beautiful, Pamela. It's usually the simple pleasures in life that bring us joy. This was a wonderful post to wake up to!ReplyDelete
Every happy day is a bonue Pamela - some of us seem to find it easier to find happiness than others though. I think the secret is to find it in simple things - as you do - to your obvious benefit.ReplyDelete
YOUR words are THE BEST!!YOUR wedding eve sounds AMAZING................one day can you share a photo or two of that?!!ReplyDelete
Couldn't agree with you more, Pamela. And I know that South K. tube station very well and can imagine the Mozart echoing off the walls. Thank you for sharing that beauty. Here's to the best in every day! XOXOReplyDelete
"Finding beauty and happiness in the midst of the everyday" ... you are so right Pamela, if we can't do that then we are lost!ReplyDelete
Thank you for your beautiful writing
Whew was this beautiful. I could hear both the Mozart and the music of your way with words, so uniquely yours. The gratitude you have for the simplest things makes me nod my head in recognition but how good it is to read! Merci... :)ReplyDelete
I think the London underground bothered me because it goes so deep. We went after 9/11 just to show them they'd never win, and I was a little fearful some would attack. Never saw anyone playing.ReplyDelete
What a rich, evocative post. I love this: "... in a twinkling, the nondescript became celestial." (Sublime.)ReplyDelete
As for the London Underground, I have little experience. On the other hand, I have decades of experience (good and bad) with the Paris metro! And, perhaps surprisingly, experience as a 16-year-old with the Moscow subway system. (Still the USSR then.) It, too, was almost frighteningly deep - disorienting, really. And yet to some of us, there is something fascinating (and potentially magic) in the mysteries of these tunnels that move us en masse - where surprises like music can illuminate a day.
Your writing is exquisite. (Such a pleasure!)
In a heartbeat your experience in the tunnel changed and that the music remained with you and became embedded in your future days is one of the miracles of life. One cannot buy this. Wishing you continued days of magic and joy
what a wonderful day you had + hearing a violin in the underground + magical! xxpeggybraswelldesign.comReplyDelete
Such a timely post as we all begin to rush through the holidays. It's a great reminder to stop and feel the sun on our faces and enjoy the day. Thank you for such uplifting and beautifully written words.
Oh, this was so lovely to read. Thank you.ReplyDelete
We use the Underground a lot when in London - it makes crisscrossing the huge city quite easy. Best when the rush hours are over of course - and in the colder months it's somewhat stifling if you're bundled up head to toe. I too have heard beautiful classical music in the tube stations, also on the Charles Bridge in Prague last autumn - just something really magical when quite unexpected.ReplyDelete
Lovely words and lots of memories.
Hugs - Mary
"But if we can manage to find beauty and happiness in the midst of the everyday, then we are truly fortunate indeed." truer words have never been spoken. beautiful post, pamela. brava!ReplyDelete
Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where others see nothing.ReplyDelete
You are truly blessed and doublely so for sharing. WAVENEY
What happy days! You are lucky to have so many. The district line is not the best example of the Underground, although a touch of Mozart would help. If only the Brits would hire you to redecorate the tunnels!ReplyDelete
Hoping that violin stays with you always.ReplyDelete
That was lovely Pamela.ReplyDelete
What a brilliant idea, thinking and remembering our happiest days, you have given me food for thought!
What a beautiful gift of music and happiness you describe Pamela... and your lovely evocative writing is our gift... Thank you... xvReplyDelete
Simple moments are the best. I should mention, I had a Honeycrisp this morning for breakfast.ReplyDelete