This is a happy picture of me in 2014 when my husband and I spent some time in London on a whirlwind trip of a lifetime.
We made sure we got some shots and a video on London Bridge for our son and baby daughter, who’s favourite kid-song at the time was “London Bridge is Falling Down”. A windy, rather non-descript bridge, shadowed by the pomp and circumstance of Tower Bridge just down the river a ways, but both busy with traffic and people rushing to their jobs.
Nonetheless, historically important to visit and document, and I am so very glad we did. We even took photos as we boated underneath on our way to Greenwich.
Google the history of that song, and it could date back to the Vikings, potentially. My Fair Odin? Wikipedia
Memories from our trip aside, London, and Britain as a whole are on my mind today.
London is this intoxicating , sprawling entity. Teeming with people, a millennia of culture and modernity symbiotically thrust against one another to melt into this glorious palette of urban life. It is a cacophony of tastes, sights, smells and memories. It was heady and overwhelming, but I grasped – with clarity – the way this place made me feel. I was more at home in London than I have ever felt visiting any city for the first time, ever. I wanted to stay and just absorb everything, let it set into my bones and alter my perceptions, one street block at a time.
I have been *there*. I fell in love with a city *there*.
My heart, after last night’s news, has travelled back, and is heavy. I think people, as we are bombarded by all the reports and happenings all over the world, focus on the ones we can relate to. Places we visited now the centre of the crime. We remember what we saw, trying to reconcile to what the news shows us now.
All this to say; London, and England at large, have survived worse, and will continue to do so. Of this I am certain. The way Londoners (and Mancunians!) have responded with British resolve, strength, and cheek is appropriate, and despite stereotypes being what they are, refreshing. Stiff upper lips are warranted, even when there is grief and sorrow aplenty.
These recent attacks are terrible, and of course, the litany of opinions will drown out this simple fact about the most recent terror attack on London Bridge: That someone chose to take life for hateful reasons, and no matter what the reason, cause, or hatred… It cannot stand.
Someday I will go back to London, to dive back in and fall in love with the concept of a city as a living being, made up of all the world at my feet, imbued by history and time passage. I will celebrate that, and pay tribute to the lives lost within, as I did the last time I visited.
Because that is the heart of it. London bridges cultures, invites them to thrive and grow in a city that has stood for over a thousand years with that influence. It has survived countless wars, invading hordes, fires, and bombings. London is a city of the world, not just England.
It will survive this too. ♥