Most of my friends were dazzled by the thought of living in such a big city as London, but I came to London fairly undazzled, anticipating little. “A city is a city. I have come from a busy city. Now I will live in another just like it,” is what I thought to myself.
“Methinks I see these things with parted eye…”
But in a strange way, I have been dazzled.
It wasn’t the city lights, or the parties or the shopping that captured me.
It was finding, amidst the bustle of city streets, a place to sit down surrounded by trees, to lie down on a bed of grass with no company but a book, to see dogs run free and squirrels scramble up trees, and the sun periodically peek out from behind the clouds, bringing sudden life into everything around me.
The things climate and space constrictions in Singapore made impossible, this city has made possible to me.
“Curioser and curioser!”
Somehow I have discovered that kind of romantic solitude I thought to exist only in books – to be alone, yet never lonely. Over the past few weeks I have gone on some solo excursions – a long walk to a market, to a city farm, and to a quiet garden in a museum. Yet my most enjoyable episode was an afternoon in the park, reading Augustus and eating a sandwich lunch.
“Calm as to suit a calmer grief”
Yet at some points in my quiet moments, I became aware of a gentle pang in my heart, a little burden. Somehow part of my quiet was being able to look inside myself, and realising how deep that chasm I call my heart actually goes.
“All live are mysteries, I suppose, even my own”
But I remember those who have loved me, and I am not afraid to face whatever I will discover, in the world or inside myself. It is a confidence that comes only from knowing that I am unconditionally loved.
To be alone, yet never alone. To be afraid, yet never truly afraid. That is magic enough to dazzle any heart that has tasted this mystery.
A happy little friend I met yesterday
*Above quotes (in order of use as headings) are from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, In Memorian by Lord Tennyson and last but not least, Augustus by John Williams