So I went to London over the weekend. This was a huge deal for me because I’ve never been overseas in my whole life (I live in NY.) I was meeting my husband there for three short days. It was a romantic notion and all very exciting. We did many of the touristy things – Westminster Abby, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s, Harrod’s, the pubs, fish and chips, afternoon tea, took lots of pictures, etc.
We rode the Tube east and west, north and south, hopped a double decker to Trafalgar Square and jumped in a black cab when the Tube closed early on Sat. night after a late night jaunt for some of the best Indian food I’ve ever had.
I love Indian food. The warmth of the spices makes me feel so…..grounded. Plus, I love pronouncing the names of the dishes. Tan-dooooooooohhri. Baaaaaaaah-jheeee. Chaaaah-naaaah Mah-saaaaah-lah. Beer-reeeee-aaaaaah-neeee. I’m not even sure I’m pronouncing them correctly, but that’s what they sound like to me. The words feel fun when they roll over your tongue.
More importantly than all the tourist stops was being away with Big Head in a far off land. It was one of the great experiences of our time here together. Leaving the kids in good hands with Mema and Grandpa to be husband and wife instead of mother and father for more than a night out is not something we have done since I can’t remember when. It was restorative and rejuvenating to explore and find each other in the churches, in the art and architecture, in the pubs, in the food, in the music.
I can show you the plethora of photographs I took of the facades of London buildings which we’ve all seen time unending. Instead, I will share this:
This just about sums up my trip. First off, Londoners are FAR more polite than New Yorkers. They put up signs like this. Please Mind Your Head. In New York, you would be lucky there was any sign at all. You would smack your head and the next guy would say, “what’d you do that for? What are you, stupid? Why don’t you watch where you’re going!” Secondly, this reminded me that, wherever you go, be careful to mind your head. Pay attention, look keenly at your surroundings, observe, be still, listen. You may never be in this spot here on earth ever again. If you are, things will surely have changed since then. They always do. Mind your head by taking stock of all your blessings. Mind your head – don’t be messy with your thoughts and the words that come out from them. Mind your head – mind your manners. Be polite. Treat each other kindly. There may be some who have lost their way or are unsure of how to get to where they are going – help them find their way.
So, now that I’m back in New York playing mommy again and Big Head is off playing banker, the thing I want most to remember about my trip to London is to be polite and mind my head. Really, it’s what my mother and father taught me all along. After 40 something years here, I had to cross an ocean for the pleasant reminder to “please, mind your head.”