I woke up at the St. Pancras Hotel in London this morning at 5 AM with a great sense of quiet and thankfulness. Normally when I wake up early it is because of some imagined fear or excitement for the day ahead. This was different, a sense of calmness kept me awake. It had been a difficult week at the funeral of a dear friend.
We had a layover in London on the way home and opted to go into town rather than stay at the airport. Last night we visited with a friend, strolled through Covent Garden, already festooned with holiday garlands, shared some mulled wine. I woke up lying next to the person I love in a city that my Grandpa shared with me when I was a kid. Then it was post-war London but magic all the same and it reminds me of his love. Suzi and I made this the first stop on our honeymoon, swinging London of the 60s. I shared it with our kids in the 80s. In the 90s I introduced the city to my mother, who had never been here. In the late 90s and early 00s it was our refuge when the Balkans became too much for us. Lying here now with Suzi Sleeping next to me made me feel full. I lay awake for an hour of what was close to joy before dropping back to sleep.
Up now, time to go home, from my second favorite town to my first.