Where there is thankfulness, there is no room for anger or bitterness or confusion. It is the surest remedy against disappointment or disillusion; it calms the heart in the midst of pain; it clears mind fogged in by self-pity. Thankfulness forces us to look beyond what is wrong and discover what is right. There are gifts all around if we are willing to find them.
My commute to school and back takes a good chunk of time. On a normal day, when trains are running on schedule, it’s just under two hours from my door to school and back again:
Walk to the train station – train to tube – tube to street – walk to the school
Back to the street – street to tube – tube to train – train to station – walk to the house.
There are times when the experience is less than awesome. Overcrowded train cars, busy stations and crowded streets where people bump into you or cut you off or walk too slowly, frustrating traffic light systems, smokers getting in their cigs before work rushing by in both directions – there are moments that I don’t love. But that’s not the whole story. When I stop to look again, there is beauty. There are little sights that make me smile along the way. I am thankful for these. I decided to take my camera along one day to capture moments from my commute that I enjoy. For security reasons, I’m not allowed to take pictures inside of train stations, so what’s below is not a representative sample. Still, each shot is something I enjoy on a regular basis.
On my way to the train station. The sun comes up and casts a soft light on the hard symmetry of my neighborhood.
There are strong lines (shapes and edges) everywhere in big cities. For some reason, I really like the web effect created by this system of electrical lines. Especially when the sky is a sharp blue.
A gentler kind of web. The fall colors are mostly done now, but I enjoyed them while they lasted. My commute usually takes me by a couple of small parks. It was fun to tromp through the leaves on the path and soak in the colors while they changed.
Sometimes I walk by buildings with inspiring things like this in the window. Can you even imagine what our day-to-day lives would be like if glasses did not exist? How many of us would not be able to work? Or would have to choose different jobs? Human creativity has powerful potential.
One thing about very old cities: there are lots of random relics to discover. London has plenty of statues and plaques and stone remnants – bits and pieces that have survived the flood of time. This particular guy is not so old, but he is interesting. I walk by him often and have no idea what exactly he’s holding (maybe a seed?), but he does make me smile.
Do you see the monkey in the tree? He doesn’t seem to mind the wet and cold of London.
Home again. This old man lives above my door and under my window. He looks a little stern, but he’s usually happy to see me back safe and warm.