Have you ever seen London in the snow?
On average days, London is not dissimilar to any other sprawling metropolis dotted around the globe. Compared to some, it might have more history; it may look old-fashioned and quaint. But it has certain similarities to all of them, hundreds of thousands commute into London for work every day, some may live there, some not, some will socialize there, some not, people are living and working in London that grew up there or has come from near and far, people from every country, every walk of life all live, work and play there.
But when the working day is over, and the people have gone home, you will see the city laid bare, it’s dirty and noisy, sometimes not very well maintained, there are good bits and bad bits. If you were to walk around London, you might think that the city is near to collapsing under the weight of the sins committed by its inhabitants. You might feel that the air pollution is a result not of the cars and trucks and buses but the exhaled breath of the buildings trying to clear their throats, or the souls in the pursuit of capitalism to which they have been subjected. Sometimes it feels that no matter what might change, there is no way it could ever get clean again.
The history, the people, the businesses all combine in a stew of greed and capitalism; similar stews can be found across the globe. But then occasionally something funny happens, something that reminds us all that it is merely a thin veneer, a mask that hides the real city and its people. It’ll snow.
London in the snow is simply one of the most beautiful and incredible places in the world, even the most hardened of capitalists can be seen shrugging off the business mask and enjoying the sheer beauty that the falling snowflakes bestow upon the city. The news media will always predict the worst when snow hits, and people will stay away, but if you do venture in, you’ll see the magic in the making. In the same city with added snow, you see the true beauty of each person that generally day to day is masked away. People will stop and gaze at white parks and snowflake encrusted trees and bushes, the whole city will have a glistening sheen across it that seems to promise that all is not lost, magic still lives there, and all you have to do is let it in. People might smile easier and forget about the late or non-running trains around Christmas time; it has an air of relaxation and joy that isn’t there the rest of the year.
Stop and look around you right now, where you are now, be it at work, at home on a train or plane. Does life feel magical, or is it merely one more stressful situation you’re moving through to get to the next one? Wouldn’t you feel happier if you could look around and see fields of pristine white, promising you that everything is new again? That’s what London in the snow feels like; it feels like a fresh start.
Do we honor it or lead it to ruin? In every situation, think of snow. Be it stressful or anxious; there are reasons to find joy and something to embrace and move forward with. We have to see those opportunities as beauty and grab them, move forward not from a stressful place but one of joy and newness, just like London seems to when it snows.
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